History of the Light : A base camp was set-up
on Government Island in the same area used by the builders of the
Spectacle Reef lighthouse which was completed in 1874.
consisted of numerous small buildings along with cook and bunk
base camp was located approximately 4 miles West of
Martin Reef at Scammon's Harbor in an area known as Les Cheneaux Islands on the
Southeastern side of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The foundation
crib and stone blocks were constructed and prepared at this location and then
taken by steamers to the construction site.
The lighthouse foundation crib was constructed of 12 x 12 redwood
timbers using lap joints throughout. When completed it measured
approximately 18 feet tall by 60 square with 36 square interior pockets.
The inner corners are reinforced with steel angle and steel sheeting
covers it's outer surface.
the construction of the crib, the lighthouse location on Martin Reef was
cleared of boulders and marked with a buoys and a warning light. The
crib was then floated out (7) miles to this location and sunk using
crushed limestone from a self-unloading freighter. Once submerged, the
crib was then filled with concrete. The remaining part of the pier was
constructed of concrete with an external "wave flare" and
internal storage areas with a total height of approximately 25 feet from it's footing on the reef.
foundation supports a white, square, steel tower, covered with steel
sheeting. The square tower measures 25 feet by 38 feet tall. The tower
housed the keepers quarters in it's upper floors. The power equipment
for the lights, fog horn and radio communications was housed in the
lower (deck) level. Atop the
tower is a 16 foot square by 10 feet tall watch room. An octagonal
lantern room sits above the watch room with a red top and housing a third order Fresnel lens. The lens
was manufactured by Sautter and Company of Paris, France. Currently it
houses an electric light with a fourth order Fresnel lens producing a focal
plane at 65 feet above mean lake level. The lighthouse also
houses a fog signal that sounds every 1 minute 15 seconds.
of the construction was completed in the summer of 1927 with the
lighthouse going into commission at that time. The base camp on
Government Island, along with all of the equipment, was then moved to
the mouth of the Cheboygan River. This was to be used for construction
of the Poe Reef and Fourteen Foot Shoal lighthouses.