Mendota Lighthouse (Bete Grise Light), Keweenaw Peninsula, Mendota Ship Channel between Lake Superior and Lac La Belle, Michigan.
Built in 1895.
MENDOTA (BETE GRISE) LIGHT
MENDOTA SHIP CHANNEL/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1870
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1895
Automated? YES 1933
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: YELLOW W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1895
Name “Bete Grise” is French for “Gray Beast”, a Native American reference to the fog.
1867 – Congress approved $14,000 for a lighthouse to be built at the end of the pier.
1870 – The lighthouse was decommissioned, dismantled and moved to Marquette Breakwater.
1870 – 1890 – Without an official light to mark the shoreline, a local woman, at the request of her husband, lit a kerosene lamp in her window to guide him home.
1893 – The Lighthouse Board authorized $7500 for a new light to be placed in the old keeper’s house.
1895 – $7500 appropriated for a new lighthouse.
1913 – The light was electrified.
1933 – The light was automated.
1956 – The lighthouse was decommissioned and sold to private owners.
1998 – The light was re-lit as a private aid to navigation.
- Henry Kuchli (1869 – 1870)
- William Kirby (1870)
- William Jilbert (1895 – 1933)