Construction of the Soo Locks started in 1852/53 and was completed by 1855. With the opening of the locks, the connection was made between Lake Superior and the rest of the Great Lakes. But the dangers weren't gone. There were still several navigational nightmares to contend with before getting to the locks.
The first lighthouse was built in 1855, fitted with a sixth-order Fresnel lens, and stood about 45 feet tall. The tower was made of rubble stone and lasted about fifteen years. By the mid 1860s, a district lighthouse inspector noted the poor condition of the tower and dwelling. He recommended replacement.
With the increase in shipping traffic as well as the poor condition of the original tower, a decision was made to replace it. By 1871, a new tower as well as keeper's quarters were complete. The new tower was made of brick and stood sixty-five feet tall and housed a fourth-order Fresnel lens. The keeper's quarters were made of brick as well, and connected to the tower by a covered walkway. The head keeper and his assistant along with their families would share the single family dwelling until 1901 when a second dwelling was added.
The first fog signal used at the site was a bell with an automated striking mechanism. This was used for about five to six years when it was replaced with steam powered whistles. The steam whistles were used until 1926 when they were removed in favor of air powered diaphones.
Directions: While in Brimley, take West Lake Shore Drive north and west for 7.4 miles to the lighthouse.View more Point Iroquois Lighthouse pictures