Located on the reef, 2.5 miles north of the Port Austin Harbor.
The Port Austin Reef Light is situated on a shallow reef 2.5 miles north of the Port Austin Harbor. The light was first exhibited on September 15,1878. Lighthouse keepers lived at the lighthouse until it was automated in 1953. After that time vandals and birds wreaked havoc on the building; its disrepair and dangerous conditions led to the US Coast Guard decommissioning the lighthouse in 1984, with plans to replace it with a solar-powered light pole.
It was scheduled to be torn down but was saved through the efforts of a group of area residents who formed the Port Austin Reef Light Association for the purpose of renovating the lighthouse. In 1988 the old roof was dismantled and a new roof built. New red metal shingles were installed in the spring of 1989 (made by the same company in Texas that manufactured the lighthouse’s original shingles).
Over the next decade exterior doors and windows were replaced, a new safety chain around the perimeter of the deck was installed, the chimney was replaced, the outside stairs were repaired and painting was completed; routine maintenance and cleaning have continued. Low water levels, lack of funds, and strict renovation regulations have combined to slow any additional progress at the lighthouse in recent years.
In 2012, the ownership of the Port Austin Reef Light was brought home as title was transferred to the Port Austin Reef Light Association.
Location: Lake Huron, Port Austin, MI 48467