Presque Isle is a peninsular about 19 miles north of Alpena, MI. and has an excellent harbor that steamboats used to stop for wood. But the harbor needed a light to show vessels how to enter at night. It was one of the few safe shelters from Fort Gratiot to the Straits of Mackinaw about a 240 mile distance.
in 1840, in a 31’ tall tower with a one 1/2 story keeper’s quarters built just north of the tower, the first light shown from 11 oil lamps set in 14 reflectors to guide ships into the harbor. A 4th order Fresnel Lens was added in 1857. The light was discontinued in 1870 when the new Presque Isle was built a mile north. A pair of range lights was put in place to guide vessels into the harbor.
The light was sold in 1897 to a private owner. The lantern room and Fresnel lens were removed. It changed hands several times over the years. In 1961, the owner purchased a Fresnel lens and lantern room and opened the grounds as a museum with guest keeper and wife. This guest keeper is still present as a ghost according to local legend and the light shines with no electricity in the tower.
In 1995, the light was sold to Presque Isle Township who maintains it and operates the museum from May-October. For more history about the light go to www.lighthousefriends.com/old Presque light. For prints and cards check www.michiganlighthouseart.com
Michigan Artist, Anita Saviko, Her goal is to research the histories and paint all Michigan lighthouses/range lights past and present, a total of spprox. 150 lights.