Passage Island Light was first lit it’s 4th order Fresnel lens in July 1882. The light marked a critical point for vessel traffic headed in and out of the Thunder Bay Area. The octagonal tower stands 44’ tall and is an integral part of the house. The tower and the house are built of rough stone in a Norman Gothic style similar to White River lighthouse. The house is only 60’ above lake level and Lake Superior storms have sometimes washed over the lighthouse breaking windows and washing away anything left outside.
With the installation of the steam whistle, which set a record for running 902 hours and consuming 50 tons of coal in 1907, extra keeper’s were needed. 3 keeper’s and the head keeper’s family lived in the 7 room house. The light was automated and station closed in 1978. It is the only light station on Lake Superior that could boost a helicopter pad.
The title to the light was transferred by the Coast Guard to the National Park Service in 1996. The public may see the light on a tour ferry from Rock Harbor, Isle Royale, Mi.
Prints and cards are available. For more detailed information go to www.lighthousefriends.com/passageislandlighthouse
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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.