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TEACH Questions & Answers

When was the first lighthouse built on Lake Superior? How many are there on Lake Superior today?
from Brianna in Wisconsin

The original light at Whitefish Point on Lake Superior dates back to 1849, being one of the two earliest lights on the Great Lakes (the other being Copper Harbor, Michigan). Standing guard over an area of Lake Superior known as the "Graveyard of the Lakes," Whitefish Point was the lighthouse that failed to light for the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975. Automated by the Coast Guard in 1970, the station no longer has a resident keeper, and the dwelling now houses the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.

As for the number of lighthouses on Lake Superior, many of the lists we found differed between active lights, standing lights, and decommissioned lights. The most comprehensive listing we found lists 39 lights, some that are now in ruins. Check out the list at the Internet Public Library.

Thank you for your question!

Answered on October 16, 2000

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