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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Light
Reference Number 14000426
State Michigan
County Houghton
Town Torch Lake Township
Street Address South end of Breakwater at mouth of Portage River
Multiple Property Submission Name Light Stations of the United States
Status Listed 7/18/2014
Areas of Significance Maritime History, Transportation, Architecture, Engineering
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The Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Light was established in 1920 to mark the southern entry to an important navigation channel in Houghton County, Michigan. It stands in Lake Superior's Keweenaw Bay at the offshore end of the breakwater sheltering the entrance to the Portage River, which is the southern part of the Keweenaw Waterway. This lighthouse is significant in the local history of Houghton County. Its period of historical significance begins in 1920 and ends in 1964, the more recent year of its operation 50 years before the present. The Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Light qualifies for inclusion in the National Register under Criterion A. by exemplifying the long-term Federal government program to improve navigational safety in the Great Lakes through constructing aids to navigation along routes of maritime transportation. It also qualifies under Criterion C. for being a well-preserved example of early twentieth century architectural design and engineering methods used in constructing offshore lighthouses in the Great Lakes. It includes a wooden crib foundation, concrete pier, and a superstructure that combines reinforced concrete and steel components. This property retains integrity of design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association. It is widely recognized as an important historic landmark in Houghton County.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria