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Ile Aux Gallets in Winter
Skillagalee, the ‘island of pebbles,’is 8 miles SW of Waugoshance, on the east side of the Gray’s Reef passage. It saw many shipwrecks, but the grounding of the Patchin in 1850 led to a call for a lighthouse.
Built in 1851, it deteriorated and had to be rebuilt in 1868, when it was given a third order Fresnel Lens.
Rough weather and an unstable base forced another new tower, an octagonal masonry structure, in 1888, with a fourth order Fresnel Lens. In 1890 the steam siren was upgraded to a steam whistle—with the siren reinstalled at Beaver Head.
When the water dropped in 1893, the dock was moved closer to the shore.
Finally the light was automated, and in 1969 the keeper’s house was destroyed.
Lighthouse Central - Lighthouse Guidebooks and Lighthouse Tours
A Winter Run - cutting through the ice to supply Beaver Island with gasoline
This story appeared in the April 2008 Beacon.