Whitefish Point Lighthouse

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

WHITEFISH POINT LIGHT, MICHIGAN
Location: WHITEFISH BAY/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1848
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1861
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1970
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE/PILE
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: SKELETAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/RED ROOF
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER, FRESNEL 1857

Historical Information:

  • 1847 - $5,000 appropriated to build the lighthouse.
  • 1848 – Construction began on stone tower. The final cost was $8,298.
  • 1849 – The light was exhibited for the first time from the lantern.
  • 1857 – Lamp array changed to 4th order Fresnel lens.
  • 1859 – Bill introduced in Congress requesting the Commerce Committee to investigate the possibility of improving the lighthouse.
  • 1861 – Construction began on pre-fabricated cast-iron tower.
  • 1862 – New tower placed in service.
  • 1871 – Fog signal building constructed.
  • 1893 – Characteristic changed from fixed to flashing.
  • 1895 – Keeper’s house changed to duplex.
  • 1896 – Fog signal building renovated.
  • 1905 – New corrugated iron fog signal building built.
  • 1935 – Fog signal building destroyed in storm.
  • 1936 – Brick fog signal building built.
  • 1937 – Protective piers built along the shoreline.
  • 1968 – Fresnel lens removed and DCB224 aerobeacon installed.
  • 1971 – Station automated.
  • 1973 – Placed on National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1985 – Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum established at site.

Keepers:

  • 1848-1849: James Starr
  • 1849-1851: James B. Van Renselaer
  • 1851-1853: Amos Stiles
  • 1853-1856: William C. Crampton
  • 1856-1859: Belloni McGulpin
  • 1859-1861: Charles Garland
  • 1861-1864: Joseph Kemp
  • 1863-1864: Charles Caldwell (1st assistant)
  • 1864-1868: Thomas Stafford
  • 1864-1868: E. Stafford (1st assistant)
  • 1868-1874: Edward Ashman
  • 1868-1874: Reuben Ashman (1st assistant)
  • 1874-1882: Charles J. Linke
  • 1874-1875: Thomas Tate (acting 1st assistant)
  • 1875-1876: Richard Russell (1st assistant)
  • 1876-1879: Nicholas Gengrew (1st assistant)
  • 1879-1883: Joseph Linke (1st assistant)
  • 1882-1883: Edward Chambers
  • 1883-1903: Charles Kimball
  • 1883-1895: Alonzo Kimball (1st assistant)
  • 1894-1895: Charles Schulz (acting 2nd assistant)
  • 1895-1897: Charles Schulz (1st assistant)
  • 1896-1899: Donald Harrison (2nd assistant)
  • 1897-1901: William Bennett (1st assistant)
  • 1899-1901: James Kay (2nd assistant)
  • 1902: Alfred Evenson (2nd assistant)
  • 1902-1905: James Kay (1st assistant)
  • 1903-1931: Robert Carlson
  • 1903-1904: Charles Price (2nd assistant)
  • 1904: William Mabee (2nd assistant)
  • 1904-1905: Klass Hamringa (2nd assistant)
  • 1905-1910: Herbert Crittenden (1st assistant)
  • 1905-1906: Henry Noel (2nd assistant)
  • 1906: William Duggan (2nd assistant)
  • 1906-1907: John Clarke, Jr. (2nd assistant)
  • 1907: Frederick Burnham (2nd assistant)
  • 1907: Joseph Pigeon (2nd assistant)
  • 1907-1908: William Gates (2nd assistant)
  • 1908-1911: Arthur Clement (2nd assistant)
  • 1910-1913: Frank Mersy (1st assistant)
  • 1911: George Frederick (2nd assistant)
  • 1911-1912: Edward Nordstrom (2nd assistant)
  • 1922-1929: Carl Hagstrom (2nd assistant)
  • 1923-1928: Peter Day (1st assistant)
  • 1929-1939: (first name unknown) Robinson (2nd assistant)
  • 1931-1933: Harry House
  • 1933-1939: Charles Lewis
  • 1936-1938: Wilbur Ranville (1st assistant)
  • 1938-1941: Louis DeRusha (1st assistant)
  • 1939-1940: Joseph Schmitz (2nd assistant)
  • 1939-1941: William Campbell
  • 1941-1947: Samuel Anderson (1st assistant)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

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