I worked as a tour guide for two summers at the Umpqua River Lighthouse in Oregon. This opportunity enabled me to learn more about this lighthouse than any of the others I've seen. Although I have personally visited 302 lighthouses in the United States and three Provinces in Canada, the Umpqua River Lighthouse has special meaning for me.
This lighthouse is located on Presque Isle, MI by Lake Huron. The name Presque Isle means "almost an island" in French. It is a small peninsula which has provided mariners with one of the best harbors of refuge between Port Huron and Michilimackinac (Regional name for area around Straits of Mackinac). The lighthouse was built in 1870 as a taller replacement for the "Old Presque Isle Lighthouse which was still in existence at the time of my visit there in 1998. The old lighthouse is located about one mile to the north of this one and was made into a museum. This new light has a conical tower that stands 113 feet high and produces a lens focal plane of 123 feet above the level of Lake Huron. The Coast Guard automated this lighthouse in 1970 and it continues to guide mariners. The original lens was still working in the lantern room at the time of my 1998 visit. The house attached to the tower was the dwelling for the Assistant Keeper and his family, and the house in the foreground was for the Head Keeper and his family.