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Christmas Range Lights

Grand Island Harbor Range Light

The Grand Island Harbor Rear Range Light consists of front and rear lights once used to guide ships into the shipping channel between Christmas and Munising, Michigan. The rear light was abandoned in 1969.

The first lighthouse near Munising commenced operation on the northern tip of Grand Island in 1856, but mariners needed additional navigational aids to in reaching safe anchorages at the southern end of the island. The first Grand Island Range Lights just east of Christmas were first lit in 1868. The original front range light consisted of a wooden pyramid that held a sixth-order Fresnel lens while the original rear range light was a wooden tower atop a frame keeper’s house that held a sixth-order Fresnel lens.

Because of structural deterioration, the range lights were replaced in 1914 with steel frame structures. The new front range light featured a 23-foot-tall iron mast while the new rear range light featured a 64-foot tower. The upper half, painted white, was part of a tower originally located at Vidal Shoals near Sault Ste. Marie.

The front range light was replaced with a tubular steel structure in 1968. Both lights were deactivated in 1969.

From downtown Munising, follow MI Route 28 west for 4 miles. From Christmas, follow MI Route 28 east for approximately a half-mile. An informal parking area is located on the north side of the highway.


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