Trip to lighthouse brings Michigan history, school report to life

Peninsula Point Lighthouse in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has rich history and incredible views

A view of Lake Michigan inside the Peninsula Point Lighthouse in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Photo by Keith Dunlap (GMG)

Ever had the chance to live out one of your child’s school projects in person?

I recently did, and in the process also learned more about a unique and historic lighthouse in Michigan, a state that has many of them.

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Earlier this school year, my 10-year-old son Micah had to do a report for his class on a lighthouse in the state, and chose the Peninsula Point Lighthouse in Rapid River, located roughly 45 minutes southeast of Escanaba in the Upper Peninsula.

The lighthouse sits right on the southern tip of Stonington Peninsula along Little Bay de Noc, which feeds into Lake Michigan.

For his project, Micah had to write a report on the history of the lighthouse and produce a replica with a pizza box as the base. Below is a photo of the replica.

Photo by Keith Dunlap (GMG)

Now, here is a photo of him in front of the actual lighthouse over Memorial Day weekend.

Photo by Keith Dunlap (GMG)

Believe it or not, it’s actually a tourist-friendly spot. You drive along Little Bay de Noc and take up those views as you drive to the small park where the lighthouse is located. It’s a smaller scale version of the drive along the “Tunnel of Trees” in the Petoskey area.

Once at the park where the lighthouse is located, the surrounding views of Lake Michigan from inside the top of the lighthouse or from the ground are incredible.

At the park, you can walk your dog, or even walk onto a couple of beaches to skip rocks or take in the views. There are a couple of small bathrooms as well.

From August through October, the spot is actually a haven for bird enthusiasts as well because it’s a popular migration location for monarchs. More information is on the sign below.

Photo by Keith Dunlap (GMG)

The lighthouse steps are old and steep, but are climbable and the trek is well worth it for the views of the surrounding area.

Photo by Keith Dunlap (GMG)

The lighthouse was first built in 1865 and included a brick home for the keeper and his family. The area was booming with ships hauling fish and other materials such as iron ore and lumber, so the lighthouse was installed to help those ships.

The lighthouse was used until 1936 and eventually became listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The keeper’s quarters burned down in 1959, but the tower of the lighthouse still remains for kids to write school reports on!

No doubt, it was wonderful to see it in person, and it should be another fun summer for tourists to check it out for themselves.

Photo by Keith Dunlap (GMG)

About the Author

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.

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