New book explores old murders on Grand Island


Journal Staff Writer

MUNISING – There will be two book signings and presentations in Munising today by author Loren Graham who has written a new book exploring the reported 1908 deaths of a lighthouse keeper and his assistant at the North Point Lighthouse on Grand Island, where Graham and his wife spend summers.

The events are scheduled for noon and 7 p.m. at the Falling Rock Cafe and Book Store, which is at the corner of Munising and Elm avenues in downtown Munising.

Graham’s book, “Death at the Lighthouse: A Grand Island Riddle,” was published by Arbutus Press of Traverse City. Graham is also the author of the book “A Face in the Rock: The Tale of a Grand Island Chippewa,” which was published by the University of California Press in 1999.

Graham is a Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and the author of many books.

In 1972, Graham and his wife Patricia purchased the remote North Point Lighthouse, which sits on a cliff 200 feet above Lake Superior. Graham found an old Detroit Free Press newspaper clipping under an oil cloth on the kitchen table. The headline of the June 15, 1908, newspaper article read: “Grand Island Lighthouse keeper and his assistant believed to be victims of brutal murder and robbery.”

Graham has been researching the 1908 incident over the past three decades and his findings are produced in his new book, including the history of the mystery.

“This non-fiction work begins with a systematic investigation and interviews of the people associated with Grand Island, the town people of Munising and AuTrain, the U.S. Lighthouse Service, loggers, hunters, miners and Native Americans, leading to a ‘complex and complicated story that embraces the entire history of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,’ ” a press release from the publisher states.

For more information on today’s events, contact the Falling Rock Cafe and Bookstore at 387-3008.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is