Whitefish Point Light Station, Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Bird Observatory
Newberry Area's Featured Upper Michigan Attractions
Whitefish Point Light Station
Since 1849, the Whitefish Point Light Station has been a working life-saving beacon for traveling ships on Lake Superior. It is the oldest working Upper Michigan lighthouse on this lake. The legendary Edmund Fitzgerald steamer sank just fifteen miles northwest of this light house in 1975. The Whitefish Point Light Station's tower remains working and standing today.
The famous Whitefish Point Light Tower is well over 150 years old. It is the oldest operating lighthouse on Lake Superior, providing its life-saving beacon across the waters continuously since 1861. Today, this lighthouse remains a fully commissioned U.S. Coast Guard Aid to Navigation. Shipping companies firmly state that while modern electronic navigational methods as GPS and radar are of great help, it is still very important to be able to see this lighthouse as they approach the relative safety of Whitefish Bay.
While the U.S. Coast Guard operates the light, it no longer owns the historic tower. The tower, and its upkeep, are the responsibility of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society.
The Shipwreck Society is addressing Light Tower Restoration in three phases. Phase I, that included the Lantern Room, Watch Room, and all interior and exterior areas above the watch room deck, was completed in 2010.
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is located at Whitefish point and is open May through October. Founded in 1975, this non-profit organization offers a glimpse into the rich history of Lake Superior. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum has a large collection of information and historical relics from shipwrecks including the famous Edmund Fitzgerald. There are 550 major shipwrecks throughout Lake Superior also known as gichigami, by the Ojibwe, meaning “big water”. Approximately 200 of these sunken ships lie within the area surrounding Whitefish Point. At the museum, guests can also check out the Shipwreck Coast Museum Store.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
The Whitefish Point Bird Observatory is a magnificent place in which migrating birds can be found traversing every spring and fall. This unique place located at Whitefish Point has naturally become a corridor for bird migration that numbers into the thousands. The observatory has been working on documenting this phenomenon for over thirty years. “Our mission is to document the distribution and abundance of birds in the Great Lakes Region, with special emphasis on migration.”
Whitefish Point Resources and Links:
♦ Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum: www.shipwreckmuseum.com
♦ Whitefish Point Light Station: www.shipwreckmuseum.com/whitefishpoint
♦ Whitefish Point Bird Observatory: www.wpbo.org
Life Begins North!