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Name: Rock of Ages Light  

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Nearest Town or City:
Houghton, Michigan, United States

Location: East of Isle Royale, Lake Superior.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

Managing Organization:
Isle Royale National Park

Telephone: 906-482-0984


A ship, the George M. Cox, was wrecked in the fog near near this lighthouse in 1933. The keepers rescued the 125 passengers and crew, and they all spent the night inside the tower. The wreck today is a popular diving spot. This lighthouse is very isolated and its construction was considered a major engineering achievement. In 2008 the Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society was formed and under an agreement with the National Park Service they are in the process of restoring the lighthouse. For more info on the NPS see:

Tower Height: 117

Height of Focal Plane: 130

Description of Tower: White, conical steel tower on circular caisson.

This light is operational

Date Established: 1908

Date Present Tower Built: 1908

Date Automated: 1978

Optics: 1908: Third order Fresnel lens; 1910: Second order Fresnel lens (now on exhibit at Windigo information center at Isle Royale National Park), now 190 mm.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation.

Open To Public? no

During the summer, visitors can reach Isle Royale via ferries departing from Houghton, Michigan; Copper Harbor, Michigan; or Grand Portage, Minnesota. A seaplane service operates out of Houghton, Michigan. Isle Royale can also be accessed by private boat and private seaplane. Isle Royale National Park is open April 16 to October 31, with full transportation services mid-June to Labor Day; reduced transportation services in the spring and fall. Closed November 1 to April 15. The Rock of Ages Lighthouse is best accessed by seaplane or charter boat.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Keepers: John F. Soldenski (c. 1933).

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