Granite Island (Michigan)

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Granite Island
Native name: Na-Be-Quon Island
Granite Island is located in Michigan
Granite Island
Granite Island
Location Lake Superior
Coordinates 46°43′15″N 87°24′41″W / 46.72083°N 87.41139°W / 46.72083; -87.41139Coordinates: 46°43′15″N 87°24′41″W / 46.72083°N 87.41139°W / 46.72083; -87.41139
State Michigan
County Marquette County
Township Marquette Township

Granite Island is a 2.5-acre (1.0 ha) island in Lake Superior located about 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Marquette in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. Posted upon it is the Granite Island Lighthouse, also known as Granite Island Light Station,[1] and is "one of the oldest surviving lighthouses on Lake Superior".[2] It is part of Marquette Township, in Marquette County.


The island is granite rock that rises nearly perpendicularly to 60 feet (18 m) above the surface of Lake Superior, surrounded by deep water. The Native Americans called it to Na-Be-Quon Island.[3] That apparently meant something like 'vessel'. They called a steam ship an "ishcoda nabequon." which was roughly translated as 'fire vessel.'[4]

Navigational aid[edit]

On March 2, 1867, Congress appropriated $20,000 for construction of the lighthouse on the island.[5] In 1868, spring brought the arrival of the lighthouse tender Haze, which landed a construction crew and building supplies. Flattening the top of the island to provide a foundation was difficult and required blasting. Davits were installed, as there was originally no plan for a dock. After a lengthy delay, a fog signal was installed. Life on the island was difficult, and did entail loss of life.[3]


Further reading[edit]

  • Stonehouse, Frederick. (1974) Marquette Shipwrecks. Marquette, MI: Harboridge Press.

External links[edit]

USCG archive image of Granite Island Light