It's not just the loneliest place in North America, it's also pretty dangerous.

Have you ever heard of the Stannard Rock Lighthouse?  This nearly 140-year-old structure in the middle of Lake Superior is 25 miles from the shore of Marquette in Michigan's upper peninsula.  That is the longest distance separating a lighthouse from shore on the continent.

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This lonely spot has a dark nickname according to lakesuperior.com,

Modern-day U.S. Coast Guardsmen at times labeled it “Stranded Rock” and rumored it was a punishment tour of duty, as in “If you screw up badly enough in the Ninth District, they will send your butt out to Stranded Rock.”

This information leaves me with two questions.

#1. Why is the lighthouse so far away from shore?

#2. Other than the distance from shore, what makes it such a lonely place?

A gigantic reef called Stannard Rock, which is like a big mountain under water, is the answer to the first question.  In fact, this large reef was known as one of the most dangerous to boaters in the Great Lakes.  The large "North American Light Station" was erected in 1835 to prevent awful maritime tragedies because this large reef was dangerously close to the Sault-to-Duluth shipping lane.

So, why so lonely?  The weather can be incredibly treacherous.  The Stannard Rock Lighthouse construction completed in 1883 and had to be controlled manually up until 1962.  Which means people lived there.  Although it is a giant engineering marvel for a lighthouse.  It's not exactly a roomy place to live.  Especially when a storm hits.  From the bitter cold temps when the lighthouse would freeze over, sometimes trapping people inside, to the waves larger than the lighthouse itself hitting the structure with the force of God. It was a tough place to be.

Get the full, dramatic story about this lighthouse by clicking here.

Frozen Lake Michigan - South Haven Feb 2021

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