Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entry Light
The Portage Lake Lower Entry Light, also called the Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Light is located at the southeast entrance to the Portage River from Lake Superior. This light is located at the end of a long concrete pier near the town of Jacobsville, MI on the north side of Portage Lake. The light is automated and is an active aid to navigation.
The octagonal 31’ tower was built in 1920, replacing the original front and rear range lights built in 1868. The lighthouse sits on a square concrete base at the end of the breakwater and includes a foghorn. The original range lights included the 19’ wooded tower front range light a lantern on shore for the rear range light.
The Lower Entry Light guides ships through Portage Lake and the Portage Canal that connects the Keweenaw Bay on the east with Lake Superior in the west. It provides the boundary separating the city of Hancock to the north and Houghton on the south. The Portage Lake and Canal allows ships a safer passage during severe storms on Lake Superior. At both the east and west ends of the Portage Lake and Canal are breakwaters with a lighthouse on each end, the Upper and Lower Entry Lights).This waterway is part of the Keweenaw Water Trail (map and information)
The pier is open for those who want to walk out to view the light, but the lighthouse is closed and the windows are covered. Please be cautious as the waves can be dangerous as they wash over the pier.
To view the pier and the lighthouse, take M-26 from Hancock and turn right on Bootjack Road. Turn left at the first fork (at Dreamland) and go to the “T” in the road. Turn right (west) on a gravel road and go to the White City Park and Beach at the end of the road. This is a nice beach for swimming and sunning.
Our photographs of the tower were taken from the Portage Entry Roads south of Chassell and on a hill on the South Entry Road. You can also view the light from the Keweenaw Portage Park on the Middle Entry Road.
Photos: Mary Deloria