Alcona Historical Society


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.


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.
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.

Lighthouse Contact Information

Mary Hamather
Phone: 765-465-3984


Directions to the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse and Bailey School

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

Bailey School
Lincoln Train Depot

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
Email: Nick 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 1880's.
  • Lincoln Train Depot (originally called the West Harrisville Depot) was built in 1886 by the Detroit, Bay City and Alpena Railroad.
  • 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.
For Alcona Historical Society Membership Information Follow The Link Below!

Alcona Historical Society Membership Information

Historical Photos
Black River Photo Album

Please visit Terry Pepper's Great Lakes Light House site:
Seeing the Light - Lighthouses of the Western Great Lakes

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