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The Alcona Historical Society was formed
to preserve the rich history of the Alcona County area. The society
realizes the value of the past and its importance to future generations.
Members of the historical society provide educational tours and programs, including exciting opportunities for residents and visitors to explore and enjoy our three museums: Sturgeon Point Lighthouse, Bailey School and the Lincoln Depot.
Special events include; Historical Day at the Lighthouse, Log Cabin Day at the Bailey School with a Strawberry Shortcake Social, the Lincoln Depot hand-made quilt raffle and the Depot Day Celebration.
Group tours of each facility can be scheduled through the venue contact person and family picnics, reunions, outdoor parties and weddings may also be booked. Tents, chairs, electricity and parking arrangements are available for a minimum fee.
The organization relies on its members
to fulfill the mission on which it was founded; to locate, preserve,
protect, restore and record the historical records, objects, sites, and
lands of Alcona County.
Members of the Society take pride in their
stewardship of the 3 museums and donate hundreds of hours
each year to greet visitors and explain the history of the lighthouse,
museum and Great Lakes shipping, one room school house and depot with its caboose and switch engine.
The Driving Tours of Alcona County Historic Sites guide is available for you to print or download by clicking here.
POINT LIGHTHOUSE AND MUSEUM
Until the early 20th Century, northern
Michigan was almost completely dependent on waterborne commerce for all
of its needs. Thousands of sailing vessels and early steamers plied the
Great Lakes at a time when there were almost no aids to navigation to guide
them along the dangerous coastline with its treacherous rocks, shoals and
reefs. One such reef extends 1-1/2 miles out into Lake Huron at Sturgeon
Point, just north of Harrisville, Michigan. In 1869, the Lighthouse Service
began construction of the lighthouse at Sturgeon Point to mark this hazard.
Sturgeon Point Lighthouse became operational in the spring of 1870 and
has been in continuous service for 139 years. The lighthouse is still operational.
|In 1876 the U. S. Life Saving Service
established a Life Saving Station at the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse. This
station provided around-the-clock rescue capability for vessels in distress.
With the formation of the U. S. Coast Guard in 1915, Sturgeon Point became
a Coast Guard station.
The lighthouse was electrified and automated
in 1939 and the last personnel left in 1941. The Coast Guard buildings
were subsequently destroyed, however, the lighthouse itself survived
but was severely vandalized.
In 1982 the Alcona Historical Society leased
the lighthouse and began a three - year restoration project. The interior
of the keeper's house was completely restored, and the buildings were painted.
Almost all of the work was done by volunteers, directed by Floyd Benghauser. The lighthouse is of masonry construction on a limestone block foundation. The
tower is 70 feet, 9 inches tall and is 16 feet in diameter at its base.
The light is a 3.5 order Fresnel lens made in Paris, France. The light
apparatus is still maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The keeper's house
is now a maritime museum which is open to the public on weekends
from Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekend. The lighthouse tower is open to
the public for climbing at a nominal fee. The grounds are open all year.
Directions to the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse and Bailey School
Hours of Operation
Open Memorial Day Weekend
SPHL will be open Saturday, Sunday and holidays from Memorial Day
weekend to Labor Day from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Northbound on US-23
Watch for sign approximately 1 ˝ miles North of Harrisville and turn right on Lake Shore Drive. Turn right (east) on Point Road and the entrance to the Lighthouse and Bailey School will be on the left.
Southbound on US-23
Watch for sign on the right after going through the Black River Hills. You'll be on a hill and need to be in the center lane. Turn left onto Lake Shore Drive and then right on Point Road. The entrance will be on your left.
Click here to view our location on the map.
Also on site at the Lighthouse is the Bailey
School, a one-room schoolhouse originally operated in Mikado, a small community
approximately 25 miles southwest of the lighthouse. The Norway pine structure
was built in 1907 and is still furnished with items of its era. Original to the school is the recitation
bench, blackboard, maps, coat rack and pump. Other items include teacher and student desks, drinking pail and dipper, wood stove, and books. Its
original school bell sits on the building’s roof. This is one of the few
remaining one-room schoolhouses still standing in Michigan, and it is a
reminder of simpler times.
The school remained open through the 1940-41
school year. When the school was closed the students were transported to
Oscoda schools. In 1973, Mikado Township began a partial restoration of
the building and in 1998 it was disassembled and moved to the Sturgeon
Point location. The historical society’s annual Log Cabin Day and Strawberry Social is held
at the school on the last Sunday in June.
Bailey School Contact Information
Kristen Benghauser - 471-2088
Hours of Operation
Open July 1 through Labor Day
Call for information and hours open
Group tours by request:
736-8803 • 734-6754 • 727-4080
Lincoln Depot Contact Information
Williams or 989-727-4080
Facts about the Lincoln Train Depot:
The Lincoln Depot, the last remaining depot
of its kind in northeastern Michigan
Lonely reminder of Michigan's former dependence
on the railroads that snaked up and down the state.
Wood structure has been standing since the
Lincoln Train Depot (originally called the
West Harrisville Depot) was built in 1886 by the Detroit, Bay City and
The Depot is located on Lake Street in Lincoln
and served the community and the surrounding area until 1929.
First rail service to this area passed through
Lincoln from the south and continued north through Ossineke to Alpena.
Was a private residence from about 1930 until
now being owned by the Lincoln Downtown Development Authority.
In December of 1998, the Lincoln Depot was
officially recognized as a Michigan Historic Site.
January 6, 1999, the Friends of Lincoln Depot
became affiliated with the Alcona Historical Society.
The building is structurally sound, and its
restoration and use as a museum and historical site broaden the range
of historical attractions available in the local area.