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If there's one thing that you should never have any trouble finding in Michigan, it's a lighthouse. We have more than any other state – somewhere around 120.

There are lighthouses that are tourist attractions, still-operable lighthouses, haunted lighthouses, desolate lighthouses, and abandoned lighthouses.

One such lighthouse is the Fourteen Mile Point lighthouse in the U.P.'s Keweenaw Peninsula.

According to Lighthouse Friends, a request was made in 1892 for a lighthouse on Fourteen Mile point and in March 1893 it was granted by Congress. Over a year and $20,000 later, construction began on May 14, 1894. Among the structures were quarters for the construction crew, landing crib, fog signal building, oil house, boathouse, tramway, windmill.....and finally, the lighthouse itself.

Fourteen Mile Point lighthouse's first keeper was Tom Doody; he and an assistant took care of the building from 1894 to 1898, when a second assistant was brought in. Doody left in 1902.

In 1931, Levi Whipple was First Assistant Keeper; his eleven-year-old son Kenny logged some of his experiences in that wilderness, including getting treed by a pack of hungry wolves. Another time, more wolves chased Kenny, the keeper's son and a deer into the waters of Lake Superior for safety.

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Kenny even wrote about a scary experience with a big ol' bear (edited): “Russell, the sixteen-year-old keeper’s son and I were sound asleep in the tent.....I was suddenly awakened by a heavy paw attempting to intrude between my body and the canvas.....There was a growling close to my face, and sharp objects began to penetrate the blankets......I felt a suffocating, heavy pressure, and (thinking it was Russell) aimed a terrific blow at where I judged Russell’s mid-section to be. There was an instant roar, and he batted the hammock.....I raised the blankets, and peered out to find myself staring into the face of a very large bear. My throat was straining to scream but no sound came.....I was running in slow motion.....I glanced over my shoulder to see a large, black shadow lumbering across the lawn”. Needless to say, he got to safety and the next day a hunting party went out and got the bear. You can read much more of his story, unedited, right HERE.

In 1955, Fourteen Mile Point Lighthouse was shut down.  It was sold in 1957 for $5,200.

In the summer of 1984, careless campers failed to completely put out their campfire, and a blaze ended up gutting the lighthouse, leaving just the brick walls. The other buildings were saved, thanks to three firefighters.

The gallery below shows what the old lighthouse looks like in the 2000s!

Deserted Fourteen Mile Point Lighthouse


The Lighthouse of Monarch Butterflies

Sand Point Lighthouse, Escanaba

The Lighthouse Ladies

White Shoal Lighthouse: The Great Lakes' Tallest?

Vintage Beaver Island

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