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​LOCATED ON THE EASTERN TIP OF CHIPPEWA COUNTY, IN THE UPPER PENNISULA OF MICHIGAN.

Village of DeTour  and  DeTour Township

Light Station

Preservation Society

DeTour Reef Light

Stuff To Do In Town

Since 1847, a lighthouse has been located at DeTour Passage at the northwestern head of Lake Huron at the mouth of St. Mary’s River, which connects Lake Huron to Lake Superior.

The first lighthouse, built onshore, the DeTour Point Light Station, was established on April 13, 1847, with the land being acquired by presidential set aside. The buildings were constructed in the same year. However, the light was not shown until 1848. Apparently by the time the construction was completed it was too late in the year to fit the Light and employ the keeper. The original structure was described as a white stone tower approximately 65 feet high with a five room, one and a half story house. There are no known photographs or drawings of the original structures. The iron tower (pictured here) that most people are familiar with at the site was constructed in 1861.

Due to ever increasing ship traffic and the dangerous offshore reef, a new lighthouse was built offshore called the DeTour Reef Light.

45°56’56.12″N, 83°54’10.98″W

The DeTour Reef Light, located a mile offshore from the original onshore lighthouse, was built in 1931. It is well known to ship captains and pleasure boaters who sail the upper Great Lakes. The lighthouse stands as a testament to the importance of shipping in the region’s political, economic and social history.

The lighthouse foundation, resting in 23 feet of water, is a crib style concrete 20-feet high 60-feet square base that supports the reinforced concrete/steel Classical Revival-style square building. The white structure with a red roof has a tower extending 63 feet over the deck making the top of the tower 83 feet above the water.

Beginning in the 1870s, crib foundation construction was used extensively for lighthouses on the Great Lakes. The DeTour Reef Light is one of these examples. Wooden cribs were constructed ashore, and then towed to the site and filled with stone.

Once the crib had settled to the bottom, it was capped with concrete or some other masonry. Often, once the crib had settled, it was necessary to level the structure by adding weight to one side or another. When construction on the building was completed, the focal plane of the lens stood 74 above the water. The light was first lit on November 10, 1931.

For generations the Light at DeTour Passage has provided a beacon for those vessels seeking the “Gateway to Superior.”

If you're coming to enjoy our river and lake activities and are in need of someplace to stay, check out our list of  warm and cozy places to rent .  We also have camp sites available.

Places to Stay

DeTour Reef Lighthouse

DeTour Reef Light

Hey, if it happens to rain on that day you planned to be on the water, check out our community calendar , which is a quick reference to a wide variety of activities throughout our village, or you may want to do a little shopping in town.  We've got a few cool restaurants and bars too.

In January 1998, the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society was born by a handful of dedicated and passionate local citizens to restore and preserve this historic maritime monument for people to enjoy in perpetuity.


​Please visit our website.

DeTour Point