Big Bay Point Lighthouse – Lake Superior
Michigan’s Lake Superior shoreline is dotted with lighthouse, and a few offer the chance for visitors to stay the night in a bed and breakfast setting. One of those lighthouses is Big Bay Point Lighthouse, a brick lighthouse that sits atop a 40 foot tall bluff overlooking the lake north of Marquette. Its is one of Michigan’s most visually appealing lighthouses, and the owners graciously allow visitors to respectfully visit the grounds during the day (see the sign above).
The Big Bay Point Lighthouse was built in 1896 to help mark a point between Granite Island and the Huron Islands. It was a rough stretch of Lake Superior for vessels but an important one on the route to and from Marquette. The tower reaches a height of 64 feet but it has a focal height of 108 feet thanks to its location on top of the bluff. It was automated in 1941, and has been a private residence since 1961.
Those interested in staying the night at this historic lighthouse should note “In 1986, the two story brick building and its adjoining 60-foot-high, square tower were converted into a bed-and-breakfast. The 14-room inn has seven guest rooms with private baths, a common living room, and library, as well as a sauna. Guests enjoy all the conveniences of modern life with the exception of individual television and phones. In addition, more than three acres of lawn, 40 acres of woods with trails are at the disposal of guests.” Prices range from $129 to $194, and more details including reservation information, can be found at: http://www.bigbaylighthouse.com/index.html.
The grounds are well cared for, and look especially beautiful in the fall. Other surviving buildings include an oil house, a garage, a brick outhouse, and a fog signal building. The drive to Big Bay from Marquette is one of the Upper Peninsula’s most scenic and offers chances for various kinds of outdoor recreation. In Big Bay you can find the Lumberjack Tavern, site of a 1952 murder that became the subject of the film Anatomy of a Murder. The Thunder Bay Inn, one of the filming sites, is located in town as well.
To get to Big Bay Point Lighthouse, head north out of Marquette on Hawley St./CR-550. Stay on CR-550 for 25 miles until you get to Big Bay, then follow the signs for the lighthouse. The physical address is 3 Lighthouse Rd.