Peninsula Point Lighthouse
The spiral staircase leading to panoramic lake views
Backstory and Context
In 1936, when the Minneapolis shoal lighthouse was put into operation, Peninsula Point light was snuffed out and the property declared surplus. In 1937, the FS was granted custodianship of Peninsula Point Lighthouse. The Civilian Conservation Corps repaired the buildings and constructed picnic grounds. However, the remote unoccupied station became a target for vandals and in 1948, when the FS could no longer finance repairs, demolition of the lighthouse was considered. The Stonington Grange agreed to take over maintenance, and their rehabilitation work earned them first prize in the 1949 statewide Grange Community Service contest.
The lighthouse keeper’s quarters burned in 1959, but the brick tower survived and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today visitors can climb the 40 foot circular staircase to find a panoramic view of Lake Michigan. Rest rooms, as well as tables and grills for picnics, are available.
The limestone shoreline yields fossils estimated at 400-500 million years old. And Peninsula Point is also a popular spot to enjoy the Monarch Butterfly and bird migration. Local birding enthusiasts have compared Peninsula Point to Point Peelee National Park of Canada, and have recorded over 200 species of birds.