Pointe Aux Barques Light

1847

LAKE HURON LIGHTS

USCG PHOTO

LIGHTHOUSES OF MICHIGAN

Pointe Aux Barques is French for "point of the little boats".  This light is perched at the edge of a rocky cliff and was the first one to guide ships into Saginaw Bay.

LOCATION: On point, Pointe aux Barques Reef, SW side of Lake Huron

CURRENT TOWER LIT: 1857

CURRENT USE: Active aid to navigation

Keeper's dwelling houses a historical museum for the light itself, as well as the Thumb Underwater Preserve --- the museums are open weekends only, Noon-4pm, Memorial Day through Labor Day.

AUTOMATED: 1958 --- USCG sold the land and keeper's dwelling to Huron County

FOUNDATION MATERIALS: Dressed Stone / Timber

LIGHTHOUSE MATERIALS: Brick

TOWER SHAPE: Conical attached --- 79 ft. tall;  (1857 tower was 89 ft. tall)

COLOR(S)/MARKINGS/PATTERN: Yellow

ORIGINAL LENS: Third Order, Fresnel

NEAT CHARACTERISTICS: The first tower at this site was built from stones collected from the beach of Lake Huron.  This structure could not withstand the harsh winter weather and began to crack.  In 1857 the tower was torn down, and both the tower and the keeper's dwellings which had burned in 1849 were rebuilt.

This station originally included a first class life saving station.  During a horrific storm in 1913, crews saved 33 people from the Howard M. Hanna which ran aground off the point.