Passage Island Light

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Passage Island Light Station
Undated USCG photo of the station
LocationSW end of Passage Is., 3.25 mi NE of Isle Royale, in NW Lake Superior, Houghton Township, Michigan
Coordinates48°13′27″N 88°21′57″W / 48.22417°N 88.36583°W / 48.22417; -88.36583Coordinates: 48°13′27″N 88°21′57″W / 48.22417°N 88.36583°W / 48.22417; -88.36583
Height44 feet (13 m)[2]
Markingsnatural with white & red lantern[2]
HeritageNational Register of Historic Places listed place Edit this on Wikidata
First lit1882[1]
LensFourth order Fresnel lens[1] (original), 7.5-inch (190 mm) (current)
Passage Island Light Station
ArchitectU.S. Lighthouse Board
Architectural styleGothic
MPSLight Stations of the United States MPS
NRHP reference No.06000632[3]
Added to NRHPJuly 19, 2006

The Passage Island Light Station is a lighthouse located 3.25 mi (5.23 km) NE of Isle Royale, in NW Lake Superior, Michigan on Passage Island. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.[3]


Passage Island Lighthouse (far right) is located on a small island, off the east coast of Isle Royale (right-click image to enlarge).

The light tower is 44 feet (13 m) high, constructed of field stone, and is square on the first level, transitioning to octagonal above.[4] It is topped with a ten-sided cast iron lantern, accessible via a spiral staircase within the tower.[4] The tower is integral with the keeper's house, which is a two-story field stone house measuring 26 by 30 feet (7.9 by 9.1 m).[4]


The need for a lighthouse between Passage Island and Isle Royale was recognized as early as the 1860s, as lake traffic increased dramatically due to the upsurge in mining in the Upper Peninsula.[4] However, it took until 1875 before Congress authorized funds for the construction of a lighthouse.[4] However, because of Congress's desire to bring political pressure to bear on the Canadian government to force them to build a lighthouse in Lake Erie, the appropriated $18,000 for Pasage Light was not released until 1880.[4] Construction began in 1881, and the light was completed the following year.[4] A fog signal was added in 1884, and in 1894 a new flashing white lens manufactured by Barbier, Benard & Turenne of Paris was installed.[4]

In 1978, the station was automated, and in 1989 a 7.5-inch (190 mm) acrylic lens was installed, replacing the Fresnel.[4]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Michigan". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  2. ^ a b c d Passage Island Light from the Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy, retrieved 8/19/09
  3. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Passage Island Light Station from "Seeing the Light," retrieved 9/18/09

External links[edit]