The Ile Aux Galets lighthouse is located in northeast Lake Michigan approximately 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Cross Village, Michigan. The Emmet County, Michigan lighthouse sits atop (and warns) of a dangerous gravel shoal—which extends almost 2 miles (3.2 km) to the east and half a mile to the northwest—that is an imminent hazard to navigation, ships and sailors. This site has been the continuous operating home of a U.S. government lighthouse since 1850.
The White Shoal light was built in 1912. It was an engineering feat because of the distance and isolation from land. Prior to this light, lightships were used to guide freighters through the straits of Mackinaw, but they were dangerous for the sailors who manned them, and difficult to maintain. Storms sometimes blew the lightships out of place and stopped ship traffic until the lightship could be properly relocated. Other lights were built to replace the need for lightships, but this one has caught the attention of the public and has become a symbol for all Michigan lights. It is depicted on one of Michigan's auto licence plates.
The mighty Mackinaw Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac to connect the Upper and Lower peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. The bridge opened on November 1, 1957, connecting two peninsulas linked for decades by ferries. A year later, the bridge was formally dedicated as the "world's longest suspension bridge between anchorages", allowing a superlative comparison to the Golden Gate Bridge, which had a longer center span between towers, and the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, which had an anchorage in the middle.