Presque Isle Front Range Light and Park – Lake Huron
Be sure to check out our Ultimate Michigan Lighthouse Road Trip: Lower Peninsula post
If it weren’t for the Michigan historical marker and township park sign that sit next to it, most people would drive by the former Presque Isle Front Range Light and not give it another thought. This small structure definitely isn’t one of the state’s more aesthetically pleasing lights, but it has historical significance to the area and is worth a stop if you’re in the area to visit the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse and New Presque Isle Lighthouse.
The historical marker next to the light reads: “In 1869 the U.S. Congress appropriated $7,500 to build two range lights marking the channel into Presque Isle Harbor. Orlando M. Poe submitted plans in May 1870, and by August the range lights were in operation as seafarers aligned the lights to direct them into the harbor. Anna Garrity, one of the few women light keepers, maintained this light from 1903 to 1926. In 1967 a light on a pole replaced the front range light, which was moved near the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse. Presque Isle Township acquired the building in 1995 with state funds and private donations. In 2002 it was moved here near its original site. Much of the lower structure has been rebuilt according to the original plans.”
The light is now the centerpiece of Range Light Park, which features a boardwalk, covered picnic pavilion, a small playground, restroom and a Presque Isle Harbor beach/swimming area. You can find out more about this and the other Presque Isle Township parks at http://www.presqueisletwp.org/content/tourism/local_parks.asp
A plaque on the range light notes the restoration efforts of the Robert Burskey family in bringing the light back to this location and restoring its exterior. A statue of Anna Garrity sits next to the range light, honoring her as well as the legacy of all female lightkeepers in Michigan. It was sculpted by Dawn Barr of Cheboygan and installed in 2013.
Range Light Park and the Presque Isle Front Range Light are located on E. Grand Lake Rd. sirectly south of the harbor. There is a parking area across the road (pictured above) and through the trees you can view the Presque Isle Rear Range Light, which is now a private residence (gated; please respect the property owners).