French explorers/colonizers began occupying the area in 1620. In 1622, there was a notable battle between the Ojibwe and Iroquois for control of the point, which the Iroquois lost. Referencing this battle, the Algonkian name for the point, “Nadouenigoning,” is a portmanteau of the words “Nadone” (Iroquois) and “Akron” (bone). Two hundred years later, in the mid-1800s, copper and iron ore were discovered here, which secured the point’s fate as a strategically important place.
On September 20, 1857, two years after a wooden lighthouse and keepers’ residence were constructed, a guiding light shone over the channel for the irst time. This first light illuminated the watery highway for 107 years, during which time the original wood buildings were replaced with brick constructs. It is estimated that this channel, running up St. Mary’s River and connecting goods that traversed the frigid Lake Superior to the hub of Sault Ste. Marie, was at one point the busiest in the world. However, time and technology march on, and by the 1960s this beacon was replaced by an automatic light, stationed nearby at Gros Cap in Ontario. The Point Iroquois Lighthouse, by now an anachronism, earned its place in history and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Join HistoriCorps on this unique project, and don’t forget your sun hat and swimsuit!
PROJECT PARTNER: Hiawatha National Forest
SESSION DATES: August 15-20, August 22-27, and August 29 – September 3
Please plan to arrive at our campsite no earlier than 6pm and no later than 8pm on the first day of your session.
Tent camping only; those with truck bed campers or similar can also access this site. There are RV sites in the vicinity at Monocle Lake Campground and Brimley State Park Campground but volunteers will need to make their own reservations, and plan to commute to and from the site daily.
ABOUT VOLUNTEERING: HistoriCorps projects are free for volunteers! HistoriCorps will provide all meals, tools, training, and equipment, and a campsite. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to the campsite, sleeping equipment, work clothes and boots, and other personal gear.