The Ontonagon Lighthouse, built in 1866, is one of the oldest lighthouses in Michigan. Tours of the lighthouse are offered 7 days a week from 11 AM to 3 PM and are self-guided. Open mid-May to mid-October.

History of the Ontonagon Lighthouse

Land for the Ontonagon Lighthouse was acquired in 1847, and the first structure was built in 1851-52. By 1866, the original wood structure was replaced with the current building–a one-and-a-half story cream brick building with a square light tower at the north end. The light tower is three stories high and topped with a decagonal beacon house, which houses a fifth-order Fresnel lens and light. The lens was made in France in 1856 by French physicist and lens pioneer Augustin Fresnel and delivered to Ontonagon in 1857. Use of the lighthouse was discontinued in April 1963 after an automatic foghorn and battery-powered light was installed at the Ontonagon pier. The lighthouse was officially decommissioned on January 1, 1964, and the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Ontonagon Lighthouse keepers: Samuel Peck (1853-57), Michael Spellman (1857-62), Adolphus Schuler (1862-64), Thomas Stripe (1864-1883), James Corgan (1883-1919), Fred Warner (1919-39), James Gagnon (1939-44), Alvah “Carp” Carpenter (1944), Arnold Huuki (1945-64)