About Waugoshance Lighthouse
A silent and majestic sentinel, the Waugoshance Lighthouse marks the western entrance to the straits of Mackinac.
This treacherous area of Lake Michigan was the location of the first Lightship, stationed on Waugoshance Shoal in 1832. It was used to help guide the many ships through the area, now known as Wilderness State Park. In 1851, the Lighthouse Board decided to replace the Lightship with Waugoshance Lighthouse.
Waugoshance Lighthouse served until 1912, when it’s services were replaced by White Shoals Lighthouse. In it’s glory the Waugoshance sported red and white horizontal strips on a steel encased tower and stone walls that are five and one half feet thick. Also, it has one of only three remaining “birdcage” lanterns left on the lakes and is considered one of the most endangered lighthouses in the world.
Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society was established in 1998 as a 501c3 non-profit organization, We are currently working to raise funds to stabilize the 162 year old lighthouse structure and recently were transferred ownership from the United States General Services Administration to our grassroots non-profit. After 102 years the lighthouse has made the move from disposable government property back to its place as an architectural monument in the Great Lakes.
Waugoshance Lighthouse is also renown for a very haunting tale. During the 1800′s, it was kept by John Herman, a lighthouse keeper well known for his practical jokes and heavy drinking on the job. Legend has it that one night while in a stupor, he locked his assistant in the lantern room as a practical joke.When his assistant finally found his way out, Herman was no where to be found. Many believe he fell into the lake as he was never seen again.
Future lightkeepers who knew the history, refused the assignment. Those that did, reported to have had their chairs kicked out from underneath them when they fell asleep. Strangely, one keeper reported that coal was shoveled into the boiler with no one around.