Old and New Presque Isle Lighthouses
Old Presque Isle Light and New Presque Isle Light
Located between between Rogers City and Alpena is Presque Isle, whose name literally means "nearly an island." This thin strip of land along Lake Huron is nearly split from the mainland and is home to two of the area's main lighthouses.
The Old Presque Isle Lighthouse was built in 1840 and served for 30 hard years before being abandoned. This quaint lighthouse was later rescued from the ravages of time and is now a museum. Here visitors are invited to sound the old-fashioned hand cranked foghorn. The two-story conical tower is also open to the public. The structure, which at its base is four feet thick, features a hand chiseled stone staircase, leading to the lantern at the top.
The New Presque Isle Light beams from one of the tallest towers on the Great Lakes. It was authorized in 1860 by President Abraham Lincoln, replacing the Old Presque Isle light. Now automated, the beacon can be seen for 25 miles and is still used as a bearing by commercial vessels bound for Lakes Michigan and Superior. The attached brick lighthouse keeper's dwelling has been turned into a museum, with exhibits about off-shore wrecks. The 113-foot tower and house are the centerpiece of what is now the 100-acre Lighthouse Park.
Just as interesting as these lighthouses are the persistent ghost stories that surround them. Some say that the ghost of a lighthouse keeper's wife who went insane and was kept locked up by her husband can still be heard wailing into the night.
From US-23 take Highway 638 to Grand Lake Road and turn left. A little more than a half mile to the north are the Old Presque Isle light & museum. To reach the park that houses the New Presque Isle light, continue north about one mile on Grand Lake Road.