History

The Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse and the Thumb of Michigan have a long and rich history tied to Great Lakes shipping. Historians, divers and lighthouse enthusiasts will appreciate the historical information and artifacts we've gathered relating to the Lighthouse and its keepers, the surfmen who risked their lives to save sailors off the rocky shoals of the Pointe, and the many shipwrecks that occurred in the area..
 

The Fresnel Lens

Read about the history of the Lighthouse's Fresnel lens and how it came to be displayed at our Museum.
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The Great Storm of 1913

Read about the Great Storm of 1913, which cost the lives of over 200 sailors and resulted in the loss of many ships -- some of which have yet to be found. Read more....

The Life Saving Station

The United States Life Saving Service has deep roots in Michigan. Although the Service started out on the East Coast, it quickly grew where trade on the waterways prospered. Michigan's shorelines and dangerous shoals were the scenes of much loss of life, as well as of tonnage, in Lakes Huron, Michigan and Erie.  Lifesaving stations, with paid as well as volunteer crews, were established along all of Michigan's shores.  The Pointe aux Barques Lifesaving Station was designated as a first class station and went into operation in the Service's Ninth District on September 15, 1876.Read more......

The Witches of November

The November storms on the Great Lakes have been legendary for their ferocity and power. For years the need to make the “last run” in November has placed ships and men in harms way. In this modern era ships are constructed very differently, weather forecasting is now a real science and with modern day communications there is no need for Lakers to run the risk of disaster.Read more......

The Daniel J. Morrell


 The Daniel J. Morrell hauled Taconite on the Lakes for many years. On November 29, 1966 time, a November Witch and the Lakes caught up with the Morrell.” Read more