GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The historic Lower Harbor Ore Dock sits on the northern shore of the Upper Peninsula. It stands tall and hard against the Lake Superior shoreline, now unused by freighters.

Twice a year, a few dozen locals often gather to observe the phenomenon known as “Orehenge,” when the sun rises perfectly in the eastern sky in the center of the dock’s mouth.


The weather needs to cooperate to see the sun rise at all. Often the Upper Peninsula is shrouded in clouds in the cold season, and it is only in the cold season that the phenomenon is possible at all.

In order for the sun to be perfectly framed, the sun needs to rise at about 119 degrees. This typically happens around Nov. 20 and Jan. 20 each year.

Sunrise and set angle and times for January 21st, 2022 when the “Orehenge” was visible this year.

This year, the clouds obscured the view on the day when the sun would have been in the most perfect alignment. Here is the scene from Inez Mcnitt on Jan. 20:

The view of the Lower Harbor Ore Dock in clouds on Jan. 20, and in clear conditions on Jan. 21 2022. (Courtesy Inez Mcnitt)

Hopefuls returned this year on the day following when the forecast cooperated with completely clear skies, revealing a nearly perfect Orehenge.

(courtesy Inez Mcnitt)

The dock was built in 1931 and closed in 1971. It now stands as a reminder to Marquette’s iron ore mining history.

The dock was once used for loading ore onto lake freighters before they shipped off to sail on Lake Superior. The Upper Harbor ore dock in Marquette was build in 1911 and is still operational to this day.