Photo courtesy of: U.S. Coast Guard

Stannard Rock

Marquette, Michigan

(44 miles North)

Built :  1882 

Construction :  Conical dressed granite

Status : Active

Location : 44 Miles North of Marquette, MI

Height : 102 feet

Access : Boat, 44 Miles North of Marquette. Not recommended venturing out, endless you know the Lake and how she behaves.

History: A Captain by the name of Charles C. Stannard sailed the first American made ship along the still new trade routes in Lake Superior. He was also the first to see this huge rock lurking just under the surface. Literally out in the middle of nowhere, the waters in this area change from 550 feet to the 4 feet, with a average depth of 16 feet in a quarter mile area around the light. This was a very dangerous area for ships. Before the light was constructed, many crews referred to this shoal as the "Sailors Graveyard". With the opening of the Soo Locks, a Day Beacon or iron structure with no light was placed here. Construction of the current lighthouse started in 1877, taking 5 years to complete. The lighthouse was then named after Captain Charles C. Stannard. 

Adventure Story: Anyone venturing out into Lake Superior should not take her lightly, as a maintenance crew was reminded one November. A crew of 12 men that had been working on the light for two weeks, nearing the completion of their work, things turned for the worse. A storm blew up quickly as they often do, trapping the men in the light. The storm blew on for day's as ice built up around them. The spray froze around the light as gale force winds blew sheets of ice that piled up against her. As the Lake finally settled 7 days later, the men found themselves trapped in 12 feet of ice. Already running low on food, they spent the next two days chopping through the ice. Now out of there prison, they were in no position to wait for the lighthouse tender. They jumped into the small lighthouse boat and ventured across the dangerous ice flows, finally making it back to shore safely.


 

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