Sand Point Lighthouse, Lake Superior, Baraga, Michigan
SAND POINT (BARAGA) LIGHT
WEST SIDE OF KEWEENAW BAY NEAR BARAGA, LAKE SUPERIOR, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1878
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1878
Foundation Materials: UNKNOWN
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: RED BRICK WITH WHITE LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL
L’Anse, Michigan had a bay and protected harbor which made it an ideal harbor for shipping iron ore in the beginning of the 1870’s. The Marquette, Houghton. and Ontonagon Railroad was scheduled to be completed in 1872 with the tracks ending in L’Anse. Wharfs and docks soon lined the shore. The need for a lighthouse was apparent.
The money was appropriated in 1873 and work began to find a site in L’Anse. However, the railroads were in financial crisis and shipping dried up. Work continued to find an appropriate site for the light station in the optimistic belief that shipping would once again pick up. After two years of struggle to gain clear title to the land chosen in L’Anse, it was requested of Congress to change the wording of the appropriation to any acceptable spot for the lighthouse, not just in L’Anse. Congress agreed. Sand Point was selected. Coincidentally, a forest fire raged through L’Anse and lay waste to everything in its path, including the docks.
The site was to use the same plans as Port Austin which was the tower attached to the keeper’s quarters. It was a popular design and used on two other lighthouses in Sherwood Point and Little Traverse. Construction began in 1877. The first keeper was John Crebassa. He lit the light for the first time on August 10, 1878. He would serve as Keeper for 30 years, retiring on March 1, 1908.
Automation came to the station in 1922. At the same time, a tank was erected with a 35 foot tall mast attached. A light was placed at the top of the mast and the Sand Point Lighthouse was replaced. The lighthouse has passed in private ownership and is currently owned by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. It is not open to the public.
Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.