The Point Iroquois Lighthouse is a forty mile drive around the southwestern edge of Whitefish Bay from the Whitefish Point Lighthouse we visited earlier. Point Iroquois takes its name from the 1662 massacre of Iroquois warriors by Ojibwe. From that time on, the locals called the point “Nadouenigoning”, a composition of the words meaning ‘Iroquois’ and ‘bone.’ Legends speak of an apparition in this area which is, supposedly, one of the Iroquois victims of the battle. The point marks the official border between Whitefish Bay and the St. Mary’s River. This strategic location is where the route from Lake Superior squeezes into the river on its way to the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
Congress first authorized construction of a lighthouse here in 1853. The original 45-foot tall lighthouse stood until 1870; the current 65-foot lighthouse replaced it at that time. This lighthouse building is a Cape Cod style white brick structure and has grown with several additions over the years. The lighthouse remained in use until 1962. Today it is open to the public and contains a small museum (including the lens shown in the gallery below) and a restored 1950s lighthouse keeper’s residence.