St. Martin Island Light

St. Martin Island Light is an exoskeleton lighthouse that marks one of four passages between Lake Michigan and the bay of Green Bay.[10] Constructed in 1905, this light tower is the only example in the US of a pure exoskeletal tower on the Great Lakes. Similar designs exist in Canada.[11] Painted white, the hexagonal tower is made of iron plates which are supported by six exterior steel posts that have latticed buttresses.[4][12]

St. Martin Island Light
St. Martin Island Light USCG Archive
St. Martin Island Light is located in Michigan
St. Martin Island Light
LocationSt. Martin Island Lake Michigan
Coordinates45°30′10″N 86°45′27″W / 45.50278°N 86.75750°W / 45.50278; -86.75750Coordinates: 45°30′10″N 86°45′27″W / 45.50278°N 86.75750°W / 45.50278; -86.75750
Year first constructed1905
Year first lit1905
ConstructionSteel exoskeleton[1]
Markings / patternwhite with black lantern[1]
Tower height75 ft (23 m)[2]
Focal height81 feet (25 m)[3]
Original lensocculting 4th Order Fresnel illuminated by a 24,000 candlepower incandescent oil vapor lamp. Rotating red and white flash panels.[4]
Current lens7.5-inch (190 mm) Tideland Signal acrylic lens[5]
Range18 nautical miles (33 km; 21 mi)[6]
CharacteristicAl W R 10s: W fl 5s ec.; R fl 5s ec. Light visible from 135° to 355°, dark sector covering island.[6]
ARLHS numberUSA-802[7][8]
USCG number7-21450
Heritageplace listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Michigan state historic site Edit this on Wikidata
St. Martin Island Light Station
Nearest cityFairport, Michigan
Area2 acres (0.81 ha)
MPSU.S. Coast Guard Lighthouses and Light Stations on the Great Lakes TR
NRHP reference No.84001387[9]
Added to NRHPJuly 19, 1984

The cream city brick lightkeeper's house was modeled after that used for the Plum Island Range Lights.[4]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 19, 1984, Reference #84001387 as St. Martin Light Station (U.S. Coast Guard/ Great Lakes TR). It is not on the state list/inventory.[13] A steam fog signal was also installed.[14] which was thereafter replaced by a diaphone.[4]

The lighthouse keeper's dwelling has been abandoned and "is in poor condition."[12]

The light station is closed to the public. It is managed by in partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Band of the Odawa Indian Nation.[11][15]


  1. ^ a b c "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Michigan". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01.
  2. ^ Pepper, Terry. "Database of Tower Heights". Seeing the Light.
  3. ^ Pepper, Terry. "Database of Focal Heights". Seeing the Light.
  4. ^ a b c d Pepper, Terry, Seeing the Light, St. Martin Island Lighthouse.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy, St. Martin Island Light.
  6. ^ a b Light List, Volume VII, Great Lakes (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard.
  7. ^ "Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society, St. Martin Island (Lake Michigan) Light ARLHS USA-802".
  8. ^ "Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society, World List of Lights". Archived from the original on 2009-04-21.
  9. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  10. ^ Wobser, David, St. Martin Island Light, Boatnerd.
  11. ^ a b Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of the United States: Michigan's Eastern Upper Peninsula". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  12. ^ a b Lighthouse Depot, St. Martin Island Light.
  13. ^ National Park Service Maritime History Project, Michigan Lighthouses, Inventory of Historic Light Stations, St. Martin Island Light
  14. ^ Saint Martin Island Light Station Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, Michigan Historic Sites Online,
  15. ^ "Little Traverse Bay Band of the Odawa Indian Nation". Archived from the original on 2011-12-25. Retrieved 2011-11-12.

External linksEdit

  Media related to St. Martin Island Light at Wikimedia Commons