In 1998 a 52 foot tall lighthouse was built built by Ed Morris of Bay City at the one-man machine shop, Morris Machine & Mold, for the Monroe welcome center. In 2004 the welcome center was remodeled, and the lighthouse was no longer needed. St. Ignace Welcome Center heard about the lighthouse, and found out it would be demolished in 17 days if no one claimed it and got the state to donate it to St. Ignace to mark the entrance to the harbor.
The lighthouse was taken down and trucked to St Ignace in 5 sections and re-assembled on the old docks of the railroad car ferry Chief Wawatam, which is where the lighthouse got it’s name from. I think its rather interesting how the lighthouse went from a troll to a yooper, and is now an official Coast Guard aid to navigation. It even remains illuminated thru the winter, guiding snowmobilers across the frozen Straights of Mackinac. On a clear night, the light from the beacon can be seen from 13 miles away.
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