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Michigan Lighthouses - Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, Port Huron MI

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With increasing vessel traffic on Lake Huron in the early 1800's, the need for a light to guide vessels into the river and away from the shallow water at the Riverís entrance became a matter of increasing importance. In response to this need, Congress appropriated $3,500 to construct a lighthouse in 1823.

The Fort Gratiot Light was the first lighthouse on Lake Huron, constructed north of Fort Gratiot (present day Port Huron). Originally completed in 1825, it was destroyed by a violent storm in 1828, and subsequently rebuilt and put back into service in 1829. It was once again rebuilt in 1861 and extended to its present height of eighty-six feet. An adjacent two-story dwelling was added in 1875. The tower was again severely threatened during the great freshwater hurricane of 1913, when waves as high as 30 to 40 feet almost washed it from the foundation. The Fort Gratiot Light was automated in 1933 and can be seen for seventeen miles as it watches over one of the busiest waterways in the world. It is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Michigan.

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