Copper Harbor Light

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Copper Harbor Light
Copper Harbor Light.jpg
Copper Harbor Lighthouse
Copper Harbor Light is located in Michigan
Copper Harbor Light
Location 9879 Woodland Rd. (Grant Township), Copper Harbor, Michigan
Coordinates 47°28′28.1″N 87°51′36.9″W / 47.474472°N 87.860250°W / 47.474472; -87.860250Coordinates: 47°28′28.1″N 87°51′36.9″W / 47.474472°N 87.860250°W / 47.474472; -87.860250
Year first constructed 1848
Year first lit 1866
Automated 1919
Tower shape square
Markings / pattern White skeleton tower w/black lantern
Height Tower - 42 feet (13 m)
Focal height 90 feet (27 m)
Original lens Fourth order Fresnel lens
Current lens 12-inch (300 mm)
Range 21 nautical miles (39 km; 24 mi); 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi) adjacent tower[1]
Characteristic Fl Green, 6 sec
ARLHS number USA-193
USCG number

7-15175 [2] [1] [3]

Copper Harbor Light Station
Built 1866
NRHP reference # 12000305[4]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 7, 2012
Designated MSHS February 22, 1974
Heritage place listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata

The Copper Harbor Light is a lighthouse located in the harbor of Copper Harbor, Michigan USA on the Keweenaw Peninsula of Upper Michigan inside Fort Wilkins Historic State Park. It is a Michigan State Historic Site and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The Copper Harbor Lighthouse was built on the tip of the eastern point of land that hugs the harbor. The lighthouse aided in the transport of copper from the Upper Peninsula. Ships carrying immigrants, supplies, and equipment increased dramatically.[5]

Funding to build the light was approved in 1847. The first tower was constructed in 1848 and resembled that at Old Presque Isle Lighthouse.[5] The Stone Masonry was dismantled, and the stones used as the foundation for the replacement lighthouse built in 1866.[6]

The current lightkeeper's dwelling house is a survivor of the first light tower. An improved lighthouse, which also survives, was raised in 1866 three years before the installation of the Copper Harbor Front Range Light and the Copper Harbor Rear Range Light. The steel light tower in current use went into service in 1933.

The station was established in 1849. A Fresnel lens was installed in 1856. The current tower was first lit in 1866. It is no longer operational. It was automated in 1919, and deactivated in 1933. The foundation materials are dressed stone and timer, and the building was made of brick. The tower is square. The color is "natural with black lantern." A keeper's house is attached.[2]

In 1933, the light itself was removed from the lighthouse, and placed on the adjacent 62-foot (19 m) tall white skeleton tower,[3] which has a focal plane of 90 feet (27 m). It has a range of 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi).[1]

On February 22, 1974, the lighthouse was designated a Michigan State Historic Site.[7] On June 7, 2012, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[4]


The Copper Harbor Lighthouse is currently (as of 2006) operated as a unit of the Michigan Department of History, Arts, and Libraries. It is open to the public in summer months and features a museum about the lighthouse and Lake Superior maritime history. Other buildings on the location include a detached 1849 dwelling house, which functioned as a storage and oil house.[8]

A lighthouse tour is available, complete with a ride on a wooden double-ender launch.[9] The boat leaves from the Municipal pier in Copper Harbor, and takes about 15 minutes to reach the point.[10]

See also[edit]

Original Lighthouse, U.S. Coast Guard Archive Photo


External links[edit]

The Copper Harbor Light