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Alcona County, MI

Standing roughly midway between Thunder Bay Island and Point au Sable is the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse. Construction on the 71 foot brick tower and connected two-story keeper's quarters began in 1869 to mark a hazardous reef extending 1-1/2 miles out into Lake Huron from Sturgeon Point, four miles north of Harrisville, Alcona County, MI. The 3-1/2 order Fresnel lens was first lit, showing a fixed white light, in the spring of 1870 with Perley Silverthorn as the first Keeper. He was removed for some unknown reason but would return three years later. The lighthouse was joined by the United States Lifesaving Service on September 15, 1876, when a new station was opened there with Perley Silverthorn as Keeper. He was again removed on October 12, 1880.

Two major events occurred in 1913. Louis Cardy, Sr., who had been Keeper of the Sturgeon Point light for 31 years, passed away that November. Sturgeon Point Light was automated and changed from a fixed white light to flashing at 3 second intervals. Rather than replace Keeper Cady maintenance of the light was assigned to the men at the lifesaving station. By 1940 electricity had been run out to the light and in 1941 the Coast Guard closed the station.

Unoccupied buildings fall into disrepair very quickly and such was the case with those vacated by the Coast Guard at Sturgeon Point. Neglected and vandalized it became a necessity to demolish them. The lighthouse and Keeper's dwelling also became victims of vandals however their brick construction limited the amount of damage incurred.

The Alcona Historical Society obtained a lease on the property in 1982 and, through the hard work and determination of its volunteers, has restored the lighthouse and Keeper's quarters. For a nominal fee you can climb to the top of the lighthouse tower. The Keeper's residence is now a maritime museum which is open on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend.

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This page last updated on  Sunday, November 29, 2015
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