Welcome to the Granite Island Light Station Web Site

August - 2004 The restored Granite Island Light Station after 11 years of private ownership is and has been host to charitable fundraisers, a wedding, legislative visits, research projects by NOAA and University of Nebraska. We have been the site for Amature radio Island weekend, the Ishpeming High School Class '59 reunion, and the provider of the infrastructure for the UN weather station as well as supporting the WIMAX service link from NMU to the Big Bay School System. This service attracted the attention of the President of the United States who came to Marquette to try it out!
For 132 years, visitors by the public were not possible and few people even knew of Granite Island. But today under private ownership, thanks to the internet, websites and live cameras people visit the Island from all over the world at least virtually.

Over a decade now, since becoming the Lighthouse Keeper at Granite Island, I am Scott L. Holman, born and raised in Ishpeming in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the first in the U.P. to have had a SCUBA diving shop which was located in Marquette, then known as "Lake Superior Skin Diving Company". While a student at Northern Michigan University I would take divers out to explore shipwrecks and visit Granite Island. By then, the light station had been shut down for over 20 years. My "Assistant Keeper" and spousal companion of 45 years, Martine (Biancardini), was born and raised in Paris, France and arrived in Ishpeming in 1965.
Your "keeper" has served as director for 12 years of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society at Whitefish Point, as well as a former Chair and member of NMU's Board of Trustees, Past President of the Steel Founders Society of America, and Regional Vice Chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Oh yes, I am now retired from making the worlds finest STEEL CASTINGS at Bay Cast, Inc. and TEST SUPPORT SYSTEMS at Bay Cast Tech. in Bay City, Michigan now in the able hands of my 3 sons, Scott, Max and Jason.

Nighttime view August 2004 April 27th, 2000 marked our first visit as new owners and the first for me since 1963. Detailed photo documentation was made of conditions as we found them. The stone structure was in good shape, however the roof had caved in and the elements virtually destroyed the interior. One major repair job!! Logistics and access were the biggest problems, as no docking facility existed until we constructed a suspended steel dock and stairs on the South side and rebuilt the 1903 derrik. The Granite Island "Navy" consists of a Zodiac which logged over 3000 miles in 2000 and another combined 4000 miles in 2001 with the addition of a 30' Zodiac 920 with enclosed cabin and an old 1946 gillnet commercial fishing boat, the Oluf Mechelson. These work boats provide transportation for guests, researchers, maintenance crews from the mainland in the lower harbor. In the last decade, the Island has been visited every month in the year at some point.

Impressions? The "rock" has a lot of dimensional character with its cliffs and cravasses, "tide" pools and rocky bays. Approaching the island by boat from a distance reminds a little of St. Michaels Mt in Cornwall. The building is a 2,408 sq. ft. stone dwelling circa 1868 with: oil house, out-house, fog-bell tower and steel light tower. The 2.49 acre island, and light-house quarters is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (P24163).

Energy systems consist of solar panels, wind generators, a 5K generator for back-up; a bank of storage batteries. Each room is also equipped with a gas light as well as electric lights and a gas/log type heating stove. Archival research produced keeper logbooks and early photo's.

Trip to island to remove dock and make some repairs 1-7-2008
Zodiac tied up at Rock Point on Jan. 7, 2008.
Took advantage of unseasonably warm weather to remove the dock and make some repairs on the island.


NEW       Check out our video section. Several videos have been updated to higher quality. They are indicated in the menu to the right with an *.
NEW       The Weather Station data is available again on the website. Visit this link Weather data from the island.

Home | Weather Station | Webcams | Locator Map | Contact Us | History | Keepers Roster | Restoration Log | Todays Keepers | Favorite Links | Special |
Photo Gallery
Aerial Views | A Boat Tour | Tour the Island | Restoration Process | Restoration Action | Granite Island Navy | Ecology/Geology | Power & Communication Systems |
Video Section
Fox News Video | Video Boat Tour | Restoration Progress | USA Today Live | 'Return to Granite Island' Ballad | A Granite Island Wedding | 360° Lantern Room View | HGTV Video | Funicular Construction |

Last updated February 2021
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