Squaw Island Lighthouse, Lake Michigan
Squaw Island is a small island at the far northwest of the Beaver Island archipelago (14 islands in all). This remote, 70-acre island is home to the Squaw Island Lighthouse which was constructed in the 1890s to help guide mariners as they traveled back and forth on northern Lake Michigan loading iron ore at the docks in Escanaba and delivering it to Great Lakes ports. The lighthouse and the island are both privately owned, and there are rarely opportunities for anyone to see this lighthouse unless they take themselves there on a private boat. We recently had the chance to visit the Squaw Island Lighthouse while onboard a Shepler’s Westbound Extended Lighthouse Tour, and we were able to get a few decent photographs and learn some of the history behind this remote lighthouse.
The lighthouse is located on the north end of the island, and views from the water are decent but limited due to the tree cover. The tower is 53 feet tall and attached to a two-story keeper’s dwelling. Considering its remote location, a lot of work went into making this a beautiful structure with great attention to detail. Waters near the island get as shallow as six feet, which was one of the main reasons to warn passing vessel traffic. When the Lansing Shoal Lighthouse went into service in the 1920s the Squaw Island Lighthouse was deemed obsolete.
The Squaw Island Lighthouse fell into disrepair after is was abandoned and became a frequent target of vandals. It was purchased for private ownership in the 1960s and you can check out the 9 & 10 News Video from 2016 that details some of the work that went into restoring the lighthouse. It was great to see those efforts have paid off and the Squaw Island Lighthouse looks like it can survive many more years of Lake Michigan storms.
To find out more about Shepler’s lighthouse cruises, head over to their website or check out our Photo Gallery: Shepler’s Extend Westbound Lighthouse Cruise post.