When you think of famous lighthouses in the United States, what comes to mind?

Probably options like Cape Hatteras and Portland, Maine.

But which of the states is home to the most lighthouses of any other state?

Michigan is the state with the most lighthouses.

A bit of a surprising answer, isn’t it?

Well, with 3,200 miles of shoreline and one of the nation’s most active waterways, it’s no wonder that Michigan claims more lighthouses than any other state in the country.

Now, let’s dig into some facts on lighthouses in the United States.

Facts About Lighthouses In The USA

Though we don’t use the sea for most of our travel these days, that was the way that it used to be back in the day.

And at the height of this period, the United States was home to around 1,500 lighthouses shining as beacons in the night for wary sailors.

The year 1910 saw the most lighthouses erected in the United States, with 267 new lighthouses going up in that year.

Fast forward to present day times, and you’ll find 700 lighthouses scattered throughout the USA. You can even visit most of them.

Of those 700 lighthouses, Michigan has had 150 lighthouses, with 120 lighthouses still standing in the state – which is the most of any state in the U.S.

Despite Michigan having the most lighthouses of any state, it is the state of Maine that is known as The Lighthouse State.

Tawas Point Light
Tawas Point Light, Asher196 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Michigan Lighthouses

Michigan has a long history of having more lighthouses than any other state.

Back in 1910 when the U.S. erected the most lighthouses of any year, 140 of the 267 lighthouses erected that year were erected in the state of Michigan.

The tallest lighthouse in Michigan is White Shoal Light, which measures in at 121 ft (37 m) high.

The White Shoal Light is a lighthouse located 20 miles (32 km) west of the Mackinac Bridge in Lake Michigan.

It is an active aid to navigation. It is also the tallest lighthouse on the Great Lakes.

The shortest lighthouse in Michigan is Cheboygan Crib Light, which measures in at 25 ft (7.6 m) high.

The Cheboygan Crib Light is a light that marks the west pier head of the mouth of the Cheboygan River into Lake Huron.

The pier head, in the center of the municipality of Cheboygan, is located at the north or lake end of Huron Street, and is one of the centerpieces of Cheboygan’s Gordon Turner Park.

The oldest lighthouse in Michigan that is still standing is Fort Gratiot Light, which was constructed in 1825 and still stands today.

Fort Gratiot Light was the first lighthouse in the state of Michigan.

It was constructed north of Fort Gratiot by Lucius Lyon, who later became one of Michigan’s first U.S. Senators.

The Fort Gratiot Light marks the entrance to the St. Clair River from Lake Huron (going south) in the southern portion of Michigan’s Thumb.

The light is still active and the grounds are an active Coast Guard facility, but it has recently been handed over to the Port Huron Museum.

There is also a public beach and park on the property, known as Lighthouse Beach.

If you’re interested in visiting some lighthouses in Michigan, or just seeing where they’re all located, then check out this Michigan lighthouses map.

Final Word

As you can see, the state of Michigan has a long history with lighthouses.

It should be no surprise that they have the most lighthouses in the state of Michigan.

After all, Michigan does have the second longest coastline, after Alaska (Though not the longest shoreline with lakes).

Use the Michigan lighthouse map above to plan your trip to see all of the lighthouses the state has to offer.

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