Round Island Lighthouse

Round Island Lighthouse

Round Island Lighthouse is an important Great Lakes Lighthouse since the
waters around the Straits are full of dangerous reefs,
unpredictable seas due to the quickly changing weather patterns of
northern Michigan and the strong churning currents with Lake Huron and
Lake Michigan converging to form the Straits of Mackinac.

It’s a beautiful landmark that visitors and
residents enjoy viewing from all parts of the Island. It reminds people
how its guiding beacon has been a welcoming sight to countless sailors
and visitors since 1896.

It can be seen from many of the fantastic Mackinac Island Hotels, Bed & Breakfasts and definitely from the beautiful patio of the Iroquois Hotel and Restaurant.

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History of Round Island Lighthouse

Due to the increasing need to have the Straits of Mackinac safe for
commercial boating vessels the U.S. Congress in 1894 appropriated
$15,000 for the construction of a lighthouse to be located on a shoal
off Round Island.

The Round Island Lighthouse was constructed on a forty-foot square
concrete pier with a three-story red brick building. The first Round
Island Lighthouse Keeper was William Marshall who exhibited the first
beacon of light on May 15, 1896.

There were seven Lighthouse
Keepers in total. The last Keeper was Bert Proctor who lived and worked
on the lighthouse from 1938 to 1947.

When the Coast Guard took over the responsibility of all the Nation’s lighthouses in 1939, the automated Passage Light was built at the harbor breakwater on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

The Lighthouse was abandoned and the care of the building stopped all together.

On October 20, 1972 a violent storm caused severe damage
with one lower corner of the lighthouse being stripped away. The once
proud lighthouse was subjected to vandals and even more disrepair.

Mackinac Island Residents Feared The Worst

Mackinac Island residents feared that the building might actually
collapse and they began the Mackinac Island Society. They raised funds
and received a grant from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
in 1977 for its restoration.

Thanks to the hard work of this dedicated group of people the
exterior of this important Mackinac Island landmark is in good
condition. It still serves as an active guide for all sizes of boats and
freighters passing through the
Straits of Mackinac.

“There is a stillness, so serene, a calmness that moves my spirit. Impressed upon my soul is a lighthouse.” Valerie M. Boggess

Visit other Lighthouses in the Straits of Mackinac.

Don’t forget there are so many other Mackinac Island Attractions to see!

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