Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fourteen Mile Point

Made a honest man of myself today.

Those who have read my most recent mystery, Cache of Corpses, know that its climactic shootout takes place at the ruins of the remote Fourteen Mile Point lighthouse, which actually exists on the Lake Superior shore of Ontonagon County, Michigan, model for my fictional Porcupine County.

But until today I'd never been there. It's reachable only by boat; the old road to it was overgrown by forest long ago. So I'd done heavy research and looked up photographs, and felt confident enough that in the novel I could describe the place more or less accurately.

When people asked if I'd actually laid eyes on the lighthouse, I'd stammer and shrug and say, "Well, of course -- in a manner of speaking."

Today a tour boat came down from Houghton, 40 miles northeast, to take sightseers from Ontonagon to Fourteen Mile Point in celebration of Lake Superior Day. I went along, and although we never got closer to the ruins than a quarter of a mile offshore, I can now say "Yup, been there done that," and look you in the eye.

The photo is proof.


  1. I forgot that was today! I wanted to at least go down and watch the tour boat sail away. We went down and watched the first year, I think that was 2005, when there was that group of people that came and camped in the woods and lived like they did in the olden times. I heard they are coming back.

  2. Boy, today is your best photo/blog day as far as I'm concerned with photos of wildlife AND a lighthouse! Some of my favorite photographic subjects. Did the 14-mile light suffer from a fire? (I won't do the research, reasoning that you know.)

    Sue and I have been all over 3 US coasts photographing lighthouses. What state has the most?

    Keep up the good work!

    Carl Morrison

  3. Thanks, Carl! Incidentally, the lighthouse (built 1895, decommissioned 1945) was torched by vandals in 1984. The fog building was restored by the private owners but they so far haven't the wherewithal to repair the lighthouse itself.

    The best site for information:

  4. Henry - thanks for the website on lighthouses. I have been informally collecting visits to Great Lakes lights and this site has some really good info. I have visited all the Lake Superior lights between Whitefish and Munising except for Crisp Point light (hard to get to). The site has good info on it.

    They say a picture is worth a 1000 words but in this case, the 14 mile light only serves to enhance your word description and my mental image in Cache.

  5. From,

    "We visited a few more of the listings in the category, but remained unsuccessful until one of the sites offered a link to the United States Coast Guard. There we found a Teacher's Lighthouse Resource and learned that Michigan has seen the construction of 90 lighthouses in its history, the most in the United States, followed closely by Maine with about 80."

  6. Thanks, Kim! Good to see your name again.

  7. That was a great trip! Only regret that I didn't take both ways and see both our homes on the Silver City leg.

  8. you can reach this light house with atv's went there this spring