Digest>Archives> January 2001

The Lost Light of Squaw Point — The Mystery Continues

What happened to the photographs?

By Wayne S. Sapulski


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This colorized image of the Squaw Point ...

Squaw Point lies opposite and just over one mile south of Gladstone, Michigan on the Little Bay de Noc arm of northern Green Bay. A small lighthouse was established there in 1897 to aid vessels making for the ports of Gladstone and Masonville.

The lighthouse here was built of cream-colored brick and consisted of a story and a half dwelling with an attached octagonal tower topped by an octagonal, black lantern room. A fifth order Fresnel lens was displayed with a red-sector to warn ships off the shallows adjacent to the point, which is mostly sand.

Mrs. Katherine “Kate” Marvin became the second keeper upon the death of her husband, Lemeul who had only held the post six months at the time of his death.

Squaw Point Lighthouse was automated in 1913 with an acetylene gas lamp. The building was vacant when it was destroyed in a forest fire on August 9, 1921. After the fire the brick walls and the tower were still standing. The remains of the house were demolished and the light was reestablished in the brick tower, which was left standing. The tower remained active and in use until 1963 when it was torn down. The light was then transferred to a pole light until 1993 when it was discontinued.

Today, an offshore buoy called Squaw Point Lighted Buoy #10A marks the point. No trace of the light station remains and today all of the property is privately owned.

For a lighthouse that stood for the better part of 67 years, old photographs are extremely scarce. Even the National Archives and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Historians office do not have photographs. A few photos have appeared in other publications and very old newspaper clippings. However, the whereabouts of the originals, suitable for photographic reproduction, remains an unsolved mystery.

Squaw Point lies within Delta County, Michigan. The Delta County Historical Society is a fine organization that oversaw the restoration of the Sand Point Lighthouse in Escanaba. For several years the Society advertised for photograph contributions of the lighthouse in surrounding communities to no avail. Someone probably doesn't know what he or she has in an old album, in some dusty attic.

If any of our readers can locate a photograph of the lighthouse or a keeper who lived there we would appreciate hearing from you. Write to Tim Harrison, Lighthouse Digest, P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630.

This story appeared in the January 2001 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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