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Big Bay Point Light

Big Bay Point Light









Description of Big Bay Point Light

Location: 24 mi (39 km) North- West of Marquette, Upper Peninsula    Map


Big Bay Point Light is located 24 mi (39 km) North- West of Marquette, Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Big Bay Point Light was constructed in 1896 for guidance across dangerous lake Superior. Today it is the only lighthouse in the country that is also open as a Bed & Breakfast. The allure of Big Bay Point Light is in its long history and alleged haunting by its first keeper. Its story inspired book and a movie Anatomy of a Murder. The most famous haunting at the Big Bay Point Light is the red-haired ghost of William Prior. According to local records he was the first lighthouse keeper at Big Bay point. Unfortunately, he lost his son, Edward, who died of a leg injury and following complications. William Prior vanished in 1901 and his body was found almost a year and a half later hanging from a tree about a mile from the lighthouse. Some suggested that he may have committed suicide. Other claimed that he have been murdered. Although it is somewhat unclear how did a body manage to hang in the tree for so long and how did the coroner manage to identify the body. But the legend persists. It is said that his red-haired ghost has been seen in mirrors, and doors tend to bang in the middle of the night, sounds of footsteps were also credited to the ghost.




The keeper's house consists of 18 rooms in a 52-by-52-foot (16 m × 16 m) two story brick building. The attached tower is tall enough to place the light 105 feet (32 m) above Lake Superior. Originally, this housed the keeper (and his family) and an assistant keeper with family as well. As the country moved to eight-hour shifts, a frame building with outhouse was built at the bottom of the hill for a second assistant keeper.

At the time the light was built the only way to get to and from the aid to navigation was by water. Those who worked at Big Bay Point were truly isolated. The keepers' wives not only had to do the usual housekeeping and food preparation, but also schooling of any children in residence.




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