PORTAGE RIVER (JACOBSVILLE)

Year Established:
1856
Existing:
Yes
Source:
LL-1901
File Type:
jpg (image/jpeg)
Photo Date:
2009
Photo Credit:
Thomas Tag
Photo Courtesy of:
US lighthouse Society Archives
Collection / Donor:

LOCATION

Location:
PORTAGE RIVER ENTRANCE/LAKE SUPERIOR
Latitude:
46° 58'41"
Longitude:
88° 24'36"
City / Town:
JACOBSVILLE
U.S. State:
Michigan
Location County:
HOUGHTON
Country:
United States

OWNER & ACCESS

Open to Public:
Yes
Light List Data:
  1. PORTAGE RIVER (JACOBSVILLE)
Light list data courtesy Gary Riemenschneider

STRUCTURE

Year Discontinued:
1920
Year Tower Established:
1870
Tower Construction Material:
BRICK
Tower Foundation:
NATURAL/EMPLACED
Height of light above mean high water, in feet:
68 FT ABOVE WATER
Height, in feet, from base of structure to center of lantern:
32 FT
Tower Shape:
CONICAL
Fog Signal Building?:
No
Keeper's Quarters?:
Yes
Year Keeper's Quarters:
1878
Keeper's Quarters Construction:
BRICK

OPTICS

Active Aid to Navigation?:
No
Original Optic Type:
FIFTH ORDER, FRESNEL
Private Aid:
No
USCG Access to Optics:
No

Comments:

Historical Information:

  • 1855: Construction began on a 39 foot stone tower and one and a half story keeper’s quarters. The tower housed a fifth order Fresnel lens. The buildings were complete but failed inspection because they were not built according to the contract.
  • 1856: Despite the fact the station had not been approved, the light was lit.
  • 1868: Major repairs were needed to the light station. It was deemed easier to rebuild the entire light station than to fix the problems with the existing one. A temporary structure was built to house the light while construction was taking place.
  • 1870: A new tower was built along with a keeper’s dwelling. The dwelling was a one and a half story house that attached to the tower by a covered walkway. The fifth order lens was removed from the temporary structure and placed in the new tower.
  • 1919: Construction began on Keweenaw Waterway light, a mile west of the Portage River light.
  • 1920: Portage River light was decommissioned. The light was transferred to the state of Michigan only to transfer back to the Coast Guard. It was eventually sold to private owners. It is not an aid to navigation and is currently used as a bed and breakfast inn.

Entered by:
t.wheeler
Entered Date:
Jul 20, 2017