Peche Island Rear Range Light

*Marine City does not own the rights to these photos

HISTORY

“Isle aux Pêches, French for Fisheries Island, is a Canadian Island situated at the confluence of the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair. Though the island is known today by most Anglophones as Peche Island, for a period of time it was called Peach Island.

On July 13, 1892, Congress passed an act that provided for a ship channel with a minimum depth of twenty feet to be dredged in the shallows of the connecting waters of the Great Lakes. The work was carried out over the next five years, and one of the improvements funded was a twenty-foot channel through Grosse Point Flats in Lake St. Clair.

Pile clusters marking the edge of this twenty-foot channel were carried away in January 1898, and it was decided that axial range lights should be built in shoal water north of Peche Island to mark the channel. Isle aux Peches Range Lights were established on April 15, 1898, with the front light consisting of a mast supported by a pile of clusters driven in nineteen feet of water. The mast was topped by a target and had a horizontal arm with two fixed white lens-lantern lights, spaced ten feet apart and displayed at a focal plane of eighteen feet. The rear light was similar in form but stood in eight feet of water, 4,650 feet southwest of the front light, and had a focal plane of thirty-eight feet.

John F. Kerby was hired as the first head keeper of the range lights, and he would have six different assistants helping him with the lights during the fourteen years he served at the station.

Due to inadequate structure strength and the lights being destroyed every winter, permanent structures were put in place in 1908. The range lights were electrified in 1940. By 1980, the rear light had developed a severe list, and in 1983, it was replaced by a modern structure. Michigan Bank in Port Huron, Michigan acquired the lighthouse from Luedtke Engineering Company, which was contracted to scrap the lighthouse, and then restored the structure and placed it on the riverfront in Marine City. The lighthouse was dedicated at its new home on August 21, 1983.”

Reference: www.lighthousefriends.com