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.
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, and a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines.
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 state of Michigan in the United States. 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 due to evidence collected from Lake Huron region. The northern parts of the lake include the North Channel and Georgian Bay. Across the lake to the southwest is Saginaw Bay. The main inlet is the St. Marys River, and the main outlet is the St. Clair River.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The United States Life-Saving Service was a United States government agency that grew out of private and local humanitarian efforts to save the lives of shipwrecked mariners and passengers. It began in 1848 and ultimately merged with the Revenue Cutter Service to form the United States Coast Guard in 1915.
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.
Fish are gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals that lack limbs with digits. They form a sister group to the tunicates, together forming the olfactores. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish as well as various extinct related groups. Tetrapods emerged within lobe-finned fishes, so cladistically they are fish as well. However, traditionally fish are rendered paraphyletic by excluding the tetrapods. Because in this manner the term "fish" is defined negatively as a paraphyletic group, it is not considered a formal taxonomic grouping in systematic biology, unless it is used in the cladistic sense, including tetrapods. The traditional term pisces is considered a typological, but not a phylogenetic classification.
The Mackinaw boat is a loose, non-standardized term for a light, open sailboat used in the interior of North America during the fur trading era. Within this term two different Mackinaw boats evolved: one for use on the upper Great Lakes, and the other for use on the upper Missouri River and its principal tributaries.
A general merchant store is a rural or small town store that carries a general line of merchandise. It carries a broad selection of merchandise, sometimes in a small space, where people from the town and surrounding rural areas come to purchase all their general goods. The store carries routine stock and obtains special orders from warehouses. It differs from a convenience store or corner shop in that it will be the main shop for the community rather than a convenient supplement.
After a few decades, however, the yield of Lake Huron fish declined. The Thunder Bay Island fishing station became a ghost town.
A ghost town is an abandoned village, town, or city, usually one that contains substantial visible remains. A town often becomes a ghost town because the economic activity that supported it has failed, or due to natural or human-caused disasters such as floods, prolonged droughts, government actions, uncontrolled lawlessness, war, pollution, or nuclear disasters. The term can sometimes refer to cities, towns, and neighbourhoods that are still populated, but significantly less so than in past years; for example, those affected by high levels of unemployment and dereliction.
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 a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Alpena County. It is considered to be part of northern Michigan. The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is located in the city. The population was 10,483 at the 2010 census. The population swells with a large number of visitors in the summer.
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.
Point Iroquois Light is a lighthouse on a Chippewa County bluff in the U.S. state of Michigan. Point Iroquois and its light mark the division line between Whitefish Bay and the western end of the St. Marys River, the connection between Lake Superior and other Great Lakes.
Gull Island is the name of a dozen small islands in the U.S. state of Michigan.
The Thunder Bay River is a 75.4-mile-long (121.3 km) river in the U.S. state of Michigan. It drains much of Alpena County and Montmorency County, and a small portion of Oscoda County, into Thunder Bay on the eastern side of northern Michigan. The mouth of the river is in the heart of downtown Alpena and is guarded by the Alpena Light Station.
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 DeTour Reef Light is a non-profit-operated lighthouse marking the southern entrance of the DeTour Passage between the eastern end of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Drummond Island. The light is an automated active aid to navigation. It marks the northern end of Lake Huron. The passage is used by almost all of the Great Lakes commercial freighter traffic moving to and from Lake Superior, with approximately 5,000 vessel movements annually. It is said to be "the gateway to Lake Superior." In addition, many recreational boaters use the passage. The Light is located in Lake Huron, three miles (5 km) south of the nearest town, DeTour Village, 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.
Huron Island Light is a lighthouse on Lake Superior near Big Bay, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Huron Islands Lighthouse in 1975. It is on one of the Huron Islands Wilderness.
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.
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.
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.