In 1877, a two-story, cast-iron light station, then referred to as the Menominee Pierhead Lighthouse, was constructed on the northern end of the mouth of the Menominee River. The tower itself was painted white, and it housed a ruby-glass lantern, providing a gleaming, red beacon of nautical safety for 12 miles.
Over the next decade, the lighthouse was relocated further offshore twice, and in 1917, it acquired the red paint scheme we recognize today. However, it wasn’t until 1927 that the wooden pier leading up to the lighthouse was replaced with a concrete pier. From 1939 to 2002, the U.S. Coast Guard assumed responsibility for operating and maintaining the lighthouse.
In 2008, the City of Menominee took over possession of the lighthouse from the U.S. Coast Guard and, with the help of a private donor, have completed several projects to improve the site’s beautification and public access. The historical society provides tours of the interior of the lighthouse, organized by enthusiast Skip Heckel, throughout the summer months.
October 2018 – April 2019: Although the lighthouse is closed for the season, participants who gather stamps for the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s Passport Program can get their passports stamped at Spies Public Library.