Michigan Lighthouse Guide and Map: Schoolcraft County Lighthouses
Today we share the eighth installment of our Michigan lighthouse guide and map series, looking at the two lighthouse in the Upper Peninsula’s Schoolcraft County. 35 counties in Michigan are home to at least one of Michigan’s 129 lighthouses (the most of any state) and we have enjoyed breaking them down into smaller groups to make visiting them easier. Schoolcraft County is home the Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Indian Lake State Park, the Big Spring Kitch-iti-kipi at Palms Book State Park, and Manistique. Despite being the 4th largest county in land area, Schoolcraft County’s population of just over 8,000 makes it one of the least populated counties in the state. Our Michigan Lighthouse Guide and Map: Schoolcraft County Lighthouses post will help you visit the Seul Choix Pointe Lighthouse Museum and the Manistique East Breakwater Light, a pair of lighthouses you won’t want to miss!
1. Seul Choix Pointe Lighthouse Museum (905 S. Seul Choix Point Rd., Gulliver) – We start things off at one of our favorite Upper Peninusla lighthouses, located just south of U.S. 2 in Gulliver. A little over an hour drive west of St. Ignace, Seul Choix gets its name from the French as it means “only choice,” a nod to it being the only harbor of refuge along a 100 mile stretch of Lake Michigan between the St. Helena Island Lighthouse and the Poverty Island Lighthouse.
The Seul Choix Pointe Lighthouse was constructed in the 1890s and was automated in 1972. It still serves as a navigational aid today with an LED light shining from the top of its 77 foot tall tower. The white conical tower is attached to a two story dwelling that served as the keeper’s house. The detailed brickwork and Italianate influence of the architecture make this one of the more aesthetically appealing lighthouses in Michigan.
The Gulliver Historical Society keeps the lighthouse and several outbuildings open as a museum complex from Memorial Day to September each year. The views from the top of the tower are incredible! This lighthouse is rumored to be haunted and special “haunted lighthouse” events are held here each October. You can check out our Photo Gallery: Seul Choix Pointe Lighthouse for a peek at what you can see inside the buildings. Head over to https://www.greatlakelighthouse.com/ for more details about the museum and admission prices.
2. Manistique East Breakwater Light (Lakeview Park, Manistique) – From Seul Choix Pointe we make the 8 mile drive back up to U.S. 2, then head west for 12 miles to Manistique. The best parking area for lighthouse access is the lot just before Range St. on the south side of the road. If weather allows you can follow the boardwalk to the breakwater and walk all the way out to the Manistique East Breakwater Light.
Manistique was once a booming port for the lumber industry, and in the 1910s the timber crib piers here were replaced by a concrete breakwater. This square pyramidal steel plate tower was constructed in 1916 and stands 36 feet tall. Its bright red color helps it stand out as a landmark for Manistique and though now automated it still serves as a navigational aid.