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Rock Harbor Lighthouse

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1855. Middle Islands Passage, Isle Royale National Park
  • (Courtesy of Isle Royale National Park)

Rock Harbor Lighthouse is one of the oldest extant lighthouses on the Great Lakes. It was used less than ten years, however, first from 1855 to 1858, and then from 1874 to 1879. The one-and-a-half-story, gable-roofed, rubble stone and brick lightkeeper's house is attached to a fifty-foot-high cylindrical tower of stone and brick surmounted by a beacon. The light marked the rocky Middle Islands Passage for ships supplying copper mines. It was abandoned for much of this century, except for occasional use for summer camping parties and by commercial fishermen. In 1939 it was transferred to the National Park Service. Authorized in 1931 and established in 1940, Isle Royale National Park conserves a prime example of North Woods wilderness.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert



Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Rock Harbor Lighthouse", [, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 497-497.

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