Stannard Rock lighthouse (Minnesota) : The most distant (from shore) lighthouse in the United States

13-05-2020

(Uskings.us) The Stannard Rock Light, completed in 1883, is a lighthouse located on a reef that was the most serious hazard to navigation on Lake Superior. The exposed crib of the Stannard Rock Light is rated as one of the top ten engineering feats in the United States. It is 24 miles (39 km) from the nearest land, making it the most distant (from shore) lighthouse in the United States. It was one of the "stag stations", manned only by men, and had the nickname "The Loneliest Place in the World".

 

The lighthouse was automated in 1962 and the United States Coast Guard still maintains it as an active aid to navigation. It is closed to the public and can only be viewed by boat or airplane. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

The Stannard Rock Reef is located off Keweenaw Peninsula about 24 miles (39 km) south of Manitou Island and 44 miles (71 km) north of Marquette, Michigan. In 1835, Captain Charles C. Stannard of the vessel John Jacob Astor first discovered this underwater mountain that extends for 0.25 miles (0.40 km) with depths as shallow as 4 feet (1.2 m) and averaging 16 feet (4.9 m). This reef was the most serious danger to navigation on Lake Superior and it was first marked by a day beacon in 1868, at which time tests were undertaken to determine if a light could survive in this harsh location, "atop a mile long reef" more than 50 miles northwest of Marquette.

A temporary marker was placed at the location in 1866. The opening of the Soo Locks and the rapid increase in commerce between Duluth, Minnesota, and the lower Great Lakes demanded construction of a lighthouse. The lighthouse was named for Captain Stannard. The Stannard Rock Light is 24 miles (39 km) from the nearest land making it the most distant from shore of any lighthouse in the United States. Stannard Rock Reef provides a year-round structure for a superior lake trout fishery. Michigan's state record for lake trout, a 61-pound-8-ounce (27.9 kg) specimen, was caught on 12-pound (5.4 kg) line at Stannard Rock Reef by 16-year-old Lucas Lanczy on August 17, 1997.

The Stannard Rock Light remains the property of the Coast Guard as an active aid to navigation. The lighthouse can only be viewed by airplane or boat and it is closed to the public. After more than a century of warning mariners away from the treacherous reef, the lighthouse was given a new mission in 2008 when scientists placed equipment atop the tower to measure whether increased evaporation was the cause of receding Great Lakes water levels.

Boat trips out to the lighthouse are available, although visitors are not allowed to enter it.

According to wikipedia


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