Presque Isle Harbor
Cruising and Travel

Presque Isle Harbor is the only natural harbor on Lake Huron, and Presque Isle is home to abundant wildlife and a breathtaking night sky. Far from the rush of big cities, Presque Isle Harbor is a great place to retire or visit. Presque Isle Harbor is a paradise for people who love the outdoors. Presque Isle Harbor provides habitat for a variety of forest and bog species, including migratory birds. Wildlife watchers will find beavers, muskrats, turtles, mallards, mergansers, and Canada geese. The Bog Walk Trail affords hikers a close look at the ten-thousand-year old bog and its unique ecosystem.

Presque Isle Harbor has a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons including humid warm summers and cold winters. Temperatures in Presque Isle Harbor range from an average high of about 25°C (78°F) in July and August to an average low of about -7°C (19°F) in January. Humidity ranges from a low of about 78% in May to a high of about 90% in August and September. With snow falling from late October to early May, snowfall can reach above 22 inches in December and January.

Built in 1840, the Old Presque Isle Light's tower and home deteriorated relatively quickly in the face of Presque Isle Harbor's harsh weather. Constructed to help the many steamboats that visited Presque Isle Harbor for fuel (wood) and supplies, the facilities were not usable by 1867. The decision was made to replace the light with a new one, and the New Presque Isle Light was finished in 1871. The new light was equipped with a third-order Fresnel lens, and the tower and light keeper's house were connected by a covered passageway. Patrick Garraty, fourth keeper of the old lighthouse, moved with his wife into the new Presque Isle Harbor lighthouse when it opened. In 1886, his son Thomas took over the position and maintained the light until 1935.

In 1939, the United States Coast Guard took control of the Presque Isle Harbor light. They added electricity and indoor plumbing. In 1970, the light was automated, and the station building was boarded up. In the 1990s, the property was leased to the Presque Isle Harbor township that took full ownership in 1998. Today, the Presque Isle Harbor Township Historical Society operates the lighthouse as a museum. It is open from May through October seven days a week from 9am until 6pm. Local legend tells that the long-deactivated tower light has lit up at night and that the last light keeper comes back to turn it on.

The Kauffman Homestead museum and gift shop is open during Presque Isle Harbor summers. John C. Kauffman was an immigrant from Germany who worked in Presque Isle Harbor as a lumberjack and built a house there in 1862. Operating a timber and firewood business that served passing steamers and schooners, Kauffman was also the Township Supervisor and Postmaster until he passed away in 1913. Kauffman descendants donated the cabin and land for Heritage Park, and many of them still live in Presque Isle Harbor. The gift shop offers souvenirs and local crafts.

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