ADELINE SIMMS GRAVESITE
The grave of Adeline Sims, wife of range light Keeper William Sims, is located to the side of the keeper’s path (at the Range Light Park) in a small, fenced-in area. Legend has it that while her husband and fellow Masons held meetings in the rear range light, she overheard and memorized secret passages. To seal her lips, she was made a member. Adeline Sims died an invalid in 1881, and was buried with a Masonic emblem on her gravestone. Sims is the only woman so honored by the Masons.
Frederick Burnham settled in Michigan in the 1840’s. Beginning in the 1850’s, the Burnhams acquired large tracts of Presque Isle County’s rich timberlands. In the mid-to-late nineteenth century Burnham developed a prosperous mercantile and lumber business here. He transported wood to the boat landing, which stood near this site. The harbor, known as Burnham’s Landing, provided shelter to ships during foul weather. When Burnham died in 1880, Julia and their son Frederick II assumed management of the family’s business. The Burnham home, store and lumber camps were destroyed by the 1908 Metz fire.
The inn was constructed in 1908. It is the only resort on Grand Lake that has been continuously operated since its inception.
John C. Kauffman migrated to America from Tuttlingen, Germany in 1851. Kauffman started as a lumberjack and built a house in 1862. Later that year he had to move his house because of the drifting snow. Kauffman was the Township Supervisor and Postmaster of Presque Isle until his death in 1913. Kauffman also served in the Civil War.
The homestead is currently open as a museum/gift shop during the summer months. It is located on E. Grand Lake Rd. in front of the Grand Lake Chapel, just up from the Birch Hill Store.
PRESQUE ISLE LODGE
Newell A. Eddy (Jr.) built Presque Isle Lodge in 1920. At the time of the Lodge’s construction, it became the fourth large resort/hotel in the area, following The Birch Hill Hotel built in the late 1890s and opened in 1901 (subsequently torn down in the 1960s), the Fireside Inn in 1908, the Grand Lake Hotel built in 1912 (subsequently split up, scaled back, and reverted to a private residence) and the Colony Bar of the same general era, which burned down. The Presque Isle Lodge was closed from 1978 to 1989 when it re-opened as a Bed & Breakfast Inn.
The New Presque Isle Light Tower alerted the mariners to impending dangers while the two smaller Range Lights guided them safely into harbor. When the lights were aligned, the mariner knew the safest and easiest path into-or out of-the harbor.