Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Brimley in Chippewa County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Point Iroquois Light Station

Local Ties Made it "A Home, Not Just a Station"

 
 
Point Iroquois Light Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 27, 2014
1. Point Iroquois Light Station Marker
Inscription.  Unlike more remote or isolated stations surrounded by water, life at Point Iroquois included many land-based activities and contacts with neighbors. Lighthouse Service rules and regulations strongly encouraged self-sufficiency through the use of local resources. Besides maintaining the light and fog signal, Keepers and their families gardened, fished, hunted, cut firewood, and picked berries. Along with neighbors, they fought forest fires and assisted mariners in distress. After late fall storms they even walked the beach searching for wreckage and frozen bodies.

Coastal Community
The closest settlement to Point Iroquois was the Methodist Indian Mission 2 ½ miles away. Before European immigrants poured into the area in the late 1800s, most of the neighbors were Native American (Anishinabeg) families involved with commercial fishing. Two local Anishinabeg women, Jane Teeple (daughter of Muckwabwan) and Martha Smith (member of Omawnomawne's Band), kept house and raised families at the lighthouse when their Euro-American husbands served as Keepers (Simon Teeple, 1857-1862 and Hosea Smith, 1869-1887). Many of their descendants
Marker detail: One-room schoolhouse at Point Iroquois, early 1900s image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: One-room schoolhouse at Point Iroquois, early 1900s
still live in the area.

Point Iroquois Light Station Timeline
1855 Original light tower and wooden keepers building built.
1870 Original tower and dwelling replaced by new brick tower and attached dwelling.
1904-1906 Large addition to east side more than doubles size of dwelling, and new barn, fog signal, boathouse, dock, and 600 feet of concrete sidewalks also constructed.
1933 Station modernized, including installation of electric generators
1937 Stone walls around yard completed by Chief John Soldenski and friends.
1962 Lighthouse decommissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard. Out buildings removed.
1965 Hiawatha National Forest takes over management of site.
1974-1975 Lighthouse Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
1982 Bay Mills-Brimley Historical Research Society begins partnership with Hiawatha National Forest to preserve and interpret the lighthouse for the public.
1984 First volunteer live-in "keepers" (caretakers).
1988 Grand opening of Point Iroquois Lighthouse Museum.
1989-1991 Restoration and repairs. (Lighthouse Service Bicentennial Fund
 
Erected by Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway and Hiawatha National Forest.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native Americans
Marker detail: Selections from Point Iroquois’ Keepers Logbooks (with Keeper’s original spelling) image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Selections from Point Iroquois’ Keepers Logbooks (with Keeper’s original spelling)
February 9, 1878 • very little ice to be seen in the Lake
February 10, 1878 • snow is four inches deep in the Woods
March 5, 1879 • fourteen men brought in badley frousen
March 13, 1878 • Small Boat past down from White Fish Point
April 1, 1881 • Night pleasant Day the same. Light Keeper’s Daughter Died age 19 years 8 months and 15 days.
April 9, 1878 • First Steamer past up
April 15, 1937 • plenty boats up today (40)
April 15, 1875 • The hevest gale that has bin known at this Station for 20 years. And it hove up the ice that was froam 2 to 2½ feet thick to the hights of 40 feet on the Beach. And caused Craks in the tower.
April 26, 1892 • Wind SE all the fleet got clear of the Ice 30 Steamers Bound up
April 28, 1878 • Straw Beerys in blossom at this Station
April 30, 1940 • picking stones from lawn that frost heaved up and fixing flower beds
May 3, 1883 • Light placed in Tower and great quantities of Ice in the Lake
May 13, 1883 • Keepers Daughter returned from Two Rivers
May 27, 1883 • Great quantity of ice on the beach
May 30, 1883 • Last ice seen in the Lake
June 8, 1891 • picking wood for signals on up the shore
June 11, 1894 (Sunday) • quite a number of visitors at station
June 13, 1894 • planting garden
June 29, 1875 • The last of the Great Ice Burgs disappear on the shore
July 6, 1881 • Camp Meeting commenced near this Station
July 17, 1893 (Sunday) • over 50 visitors at station from 8 to 10pm took it apart
July & August 1937 • working on stone fence (mentioned for a number of days — completed August 3rd 1937)
August 3, 1890 • Thomas Miller and crew arrived "to build signals and dock"
September 19, 1888 • Keeper's Son & brother arrived at the Station to day
September 24, 1891 • Hauling lumber from Bay Mills for the Well
September 28, 1888 • the Boys left to day
October 11, 1889 • cutting wood for winter
October 14, 1879 • Trump the Lampest visited the station
October 19, 1893 • Diging Potatoes
October 21, 1893 • 6 tons of coal delivered by ship
October 23, 1888 • a party of Hunters — spent night at Station and left next morning
October 23, 1891 • cutting wood for signals
October 25, 1878 • Picked ripe Straw Beeryes near this Station
November 11, 1883 • Night Great gale snowy Steamer past down with one mast broken
November 17, 1880 • Light closed on account of the saint Maries Cannel being closed
December 21, 1890 (Sunday) • Wm Lasley the asst. atended Services at the Indian Mishen
December 28, 1878 • No Ice on the Shore of the Lake.
Settlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lighthouses series list.
 
Location. 46° 29.041′ N, 84° 37.892′ W. Marker is near Brimley, Michigan, in Chippewa County. Marker can be reached from West Lakeshore Drive (Iroquois Road) 0.7 miles east of South Monocle Lake Road, on the left when traveling east. Marker is located in a boardwalk kiosk at the east end of the Point Iroquois Light Station parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12942 West Lakeshore Drive, Brimley MI 49715, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Anishinabeg (here, next to this marker); Place of the Iroquois Bones (here, next to this marker); Glacial Gifts (here, next to this marker); Point Iroquois (a few steps from this marker).
 
Regarding Point Iroquois Light Station. National Register of Historic Places #75000940.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Point Iroquois Light Station, Michigan
 
Also see . . .
1. Point Iroquois Lighthouse. Work on the lighthouse, which
Marker detail: Point Iroquois Map, 1906 image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Point Iroquois Map, 1906
1906 map showing Point Iroquois, the Indian Mission Settlement, and Mission Hill.
consisted of a cylindrical, forty-five-foot, stone tower, fitted with wood stairs and an octagonal, iron lantern room, was carried out in 1855, and Charles Caldwell, who had previously served as an assistant at Whitefish Point, was appointed the first keeper of the light in 1856. The establishment of Point Iroquois Light occurred roughly one year after the opening of the Soo Locks, an event that led to a significant increase in vessel traffic on Lake Superior. (Submitted on August 9, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Point Iroquois Lighthouse. The purpose of the Point Iroquois Light Station was to guide freighters safely between the open waters of Whitefish Bay and the St. Mary’s River. The light station served passing sailors by marking the narrow channel between the shallow sand bars and shoals off Point Iroquois and the rocky reefs of Gros Cap on the Canadian side of the bay. (Submitted on August 9, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Point Iroquois Light Station National Register Nomination. (Submitted on August 9, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Marker detail: Whitefish Bay Ice Blockade, c.1910 image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: Whitefish Bay Ice Blockade, c.1910
The Keepers log books often mention vessels delayed or stuck in the ice at the start of the spring shipping season. This postcard shows ore carriers in a Whitefish Bay spring “ice blockade” around 1910.
Marker detail: Springtime at Point Iroquois, 1944 image. Click for full size.
6. Marker detail: Springtime at Point Iroquois, 1944
This aerial photo shows Point Iroquois on April 13, 1944. The fog signal building and the boathouse on the right are no longer standing.
Marker detail: Lighthouse Tender Amaranth image. Click for full size.
7. Marker detail: Lighthouse Tender Amaranth
The Lighthouse Tender Amaranth delivered supplies and equipment to Point Iroquois from the Lighthouse Service Depot in Detroit. Tenders also delivered officials for surprise inspections. (Drawing by Dr. John Tilley, courtesy U.S. Coast Guard).
Marker detail: Point Iroquois Dock and Boathouse image. Click for full size.
8. Marker detail: Point Iroquois Dock and Boathouse
Point Iroquois Dock and Boathouse. Photo taken prior to 1904 — before east wing added to Keepers Dwelling.
Marker detail: Ruins of Point Iroquois Dock, 2010 image. Click for full size.
9. Marker detail: Ruins of Point Iroquois Dock, 2010
Point Iroquois Light Station (<i>southwest corner</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 27, 2014
10. Point Iroquois Light Station (southwest corner)
Point Iroquois Light Station (<i>southeast corner</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 27, 2014
11. Point Iroquois Light Station (southeast corner)
Whitefish Bay & Lake Superior image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 27, 2014
12. Whitefish Bay & Lake Superior
(looking north from inside Point Iroquois lighthouse tower)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 8, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 78 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 8, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on August 9, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Paid Advertisement
Feb. 25, 2021