Thunder Bay Island is a 215-acre (87 ha) island in Lake Huron. The island is one of eight constituent islands of the Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge. The island is part of Alpena Township in Alpena County. It marks the entrance to Thunder Bay, the harbor of Alpena, Michigan and the location of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The island is the home of a historic Thunder Bay Island Light, which in its current form dates to 1857,and adjacent quarters for the lightkeeper. The island also contains the sites of quarters for lifesaving service personnel and private-sector fishermen.
The third operating U.S. lighthouse in Lake Huron was built here in 1831.
Thunder Bay Island was also the site of a station, opened in 1876, operated by the United States Life-Saving Service. It operated under that name until 1939, when the Life-Saving Service was consolidated into the Coast Guard.
In addition to the lightkeepers and lifesaving servicemen, who were employees of the U.S. federal government, private-sector families lived on Thunder Bay Island in the 1800s. During the 1830s and 1840s, a commodity market in barrelled fish arose on Lake Huron. The fresh-caught fish was quickly brought to a fishing station after being caught, and salted for preservation. A fishing station sprouted on Thunder Bay Island during this period, and an 1846 gazetteer counted 160 settlers on the island and 31 fishing boats that called the island their home port. Most of these fishing boats were small Mackinaw boats. The total catch is said to have been 12,000 barrels of fish per year. The Thunder Bay Island fishing station supported a small general store.
After a few decades, however, the yield of Lake Huron fish declined. The Thunder Bay Island fishing station became a ghost town.
Lake Huron is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. Hydrologically, it comprises the easterly portion of Lake Michigan–Huron, having the same surface elevation as its westerly counterpart, to which it is connected by the 5-mile-wide (8.0 km), 20-fathom-deep Straits of Mackinac. It is shared on the north and east by the Canadian province of Ontario and on the south and west by the U.S. state of Michigan. The name of the lake is derived from early French explorers who named it for the Huron people inhabiting the region. The Huronian glaciation was named from evidence collected from Lake Huron region. The northern parts of the lake include the North Channel and Georgian Bay. Saginaw Bay is located in the southwest corner of the lake. The main inlet is the St. Marys River, and the main outlet is the St. Clair River.
Alpena County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 29,598. The county seat is Alpena. It is considered to be part of Northern Michigan.
Alpena is the only city and county seat of Alpena County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 10,483 at the 2010 census. After Traverse City, it is the second most populated city in the Northern Michigan region. The city is surrounded by Alpena Township, but the two are administered autonomously. It is the core city of the Alpena micropolitan statistical area, which encompasses all of Alpena County and had a total population of 28,360 at the 2010 census.
Presque Isle Township is a civil township of Presque Isle County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,376 at the 2010 census.
Thunder Bay is a bay in the U.S. state of Michigan on Lake Huron. The bay extends from North Point atto South Point at .
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve is a United States National Marine Sanctuary on Lake Huron's Thunder Bay, within the northeastern region of the U.S. state of Michigan. It protects an estimated 116 historically significant shipwrecks ranging from nineteenth-century wooden side-wheelers to twentieth-century steel-hulled steamers. There are a great many wrecks in the sanctuary, and their preservation and protection is a concern for national policymakers. The landward boundary of the sanctuary extends from the western boundary of Presque Isle County to the southern boundary of Alcona County. The sanctuary extends east from the lakeshore to the international border. Alpena is the largest city in the area.
Gull Island is the name of a dozen small islands in the U.S. state of Michigan.
The Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge is a designation for eight Michigan islands in the North American Great Lakes. Owned by the United States federal government, they were set aside for ecosystem protection purposes by President Franklin D. Roosevelt 1943.
Scarecrow Island is a small, 7-acre (0.03-km²) island in Lake Huron. It forms the southern limit of Thunder Bay and helps define the harbor of Alpena, Michigan. It is part of Sanborn Township, in Alpena County, Michigan.
The Alpena Light, also known as the Thunder Bay River Lighthouse or Alpena Breakwater Light, is a lighthouse on Lake Huron near Alpena, Michigan. Standing on the north breakwater of Alpena Harbor, the light marks the entrance to the Thunder Bay River from Thunder Bay. The current lighthouse, built in 1914, replaced earlier wooden structures which had been in use since 1877 and 1888. The current light is a weather-protected structure on a steel frame. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006, and the state inventory list the same year.
The Sturgeon Point Light Station is a lighthouse on Lake Huron in Haynes Township, Alcona County, northeastern lower Michigan. Established to ward mariners off a reef that extends 1.5 miles (2.4 km) lakeward from Sturgeon Point, it is today regarded as a historic example of a Cape Cod style Great Lakes lighthouse.
Michigan Islands Wilderness Area, a relatively small wilderness area of 12.5 acres (0.05 km2.), consists of Pismire Island, Scarecrow Island, and Shoe Island within the Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge. These three islands, which constitute part of the group of islands that make up the larger refuge, were elevated to the rank of a United States wilderness area in 1970. All three islands are noted for their infrequent human visitation and their roles as breeding grounds for freshwater wading birds, such as the great blue heron.
Thunder Bay Island Light, located on Thunder Bay Island's southeast tip, is one of the oldest operating lighthouses in Michigan. The third operating U.S. lighthouse in Lake Huron was built here in 1831, but it disintegrated almost at once and was rebuilt in 1832 of local limestone. This 40-foot (12 m) 1830s light tower was raised 10 feet (3.0 m)) to a height of 50 feet (15 m) in 1857, and sheathed with brick. A fourth order Fresnel lens was installed. This 1857 light tower is the current Thunder Bay Island Light, although the tower has been further altered and is currently 63 feet (19 m) high.
Rockport State Recreation Area is a 4,237-acre (17.15 km2) state park located along the shore of Lake Huron in Alpena and Presque Isle counties in the state of Michigan. It is operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and was established in 2012. The park contains limestone formations and an old limestone quarry. There is a deep water boat launch that can accommodate all sizes of watercraft. The park is located along the Lake Huron Flyway and is used to gauge the health of Lake Huron and its shoreline environment. Several ship wrecks can be found off-shore in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary including the Portland and the Portsmouth. The park was previously known as "The Rockport property" and is not far north of Alpena, Michigan.
The Fishing Tug Katherine V., designated US 228069, is a Great Lakes fishing tug. Displayed at the Besser Museum of Northeast Michigan, in Alpena, Michigan, it is believed to be the last intact wooden fishing tug remaining. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
The Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan is a community museum serving Alpena County and surrounding counties in the U.S. state of Michigan. Alpena is a port city on Lake Huron. The museum defines its role broadly — to preserve, protect and present history and culture closely connected with the heritage of Northern Michigan and the Great Lakes. The museum includes a small publicly-owned planetarium.
Black River Island is an island in Lake Huron. It is part of a series of shoals around the mouth of Black River and is 3⁄4 mile (1.21 km) NE of it. The island is included within the unincorporated community of Black River in Alcona Township.
The Chantry Island Lighthouse, officially known as Chantry Island Lightstation Tower, is a lightstation on Chantry Island, off the coast of Southampton, Ontario in Lake Huron. It was constructed in the years 1855 through to 1859, by John Brown of Thorold, Ontario, under the authority of the Province of Canada and is recognized as one of the six Imperial Towers. Virtually identical, they were completed in 1858-1859 on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay and are among the few lighthouses on the Great Lakes made of cut limestone and granite.
Middle Island is an island in Lake Huron, located in Alpena Township, Alpena County, Michigan. The island is positioned little over a mile and a half from the community of Lakewood on the mainland. The Middle Island Light, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and built in 1905, lies on the eastern edge of the island. It used to be home to a Life-Saving Station. The light house was automated in 1961, and regular staffing ceased. The island is within the boundaries of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. It preserves the lighthouse along with the shipwreck Portsmouth (1867).
SS Russia was an iron-hulled American Great Lakes package freighter that sank in a Lake Huron gale on April 30, 1909, near DeTour Village, Michigan, with all 22 of her crew and one passenger surviving.