Posted by: mlapgrants | August 13, 2018

Tragedy at Stannard Rock Light!

At 9:30 p.m. on June 16, 1961 more than 1,000 gallons of gasoline stored in the fog signal building at the Stannard Rock Light exploded with massive force killing one Coast Guardsman and leaving three others stranded on the pier deck for two days.  The fire was so hot that it damaged the limestone tower walls.  No Coast Guard personnel were ever stationed at the light again, and the cause of the explosion remains a mystery.

This Stannard Rock history is a part of the Historic Structure Report (HSR) prepared by OX Studio and Smay Trombley Architecture as part of a grant project funded by a National Maritime Heritage Program grant from the National Park Service, and a Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program grant from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

Learn more about all of Michigan’s historic lighthouses at


Stannard Explosion



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