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Updated September 20th, 2004

Please read the Tawas Emergency section on how you can help save something we can't replace.


Our application for Gull Rock Lighthouse is in and being reviewed by the National Park Service at this time. Stay tuned for a press release regarding its hopeful transfer to our organization. We are raising funds for it now. Please send donations in marked Gull Rock.


August 16th, 2004

The Harbor Springs Area Historical Society in cooperation with the Harbor Point Association will offer tours of the Little Traverse Lighthouse on Saturday, October 2, 2004.  Tours will be offered every the half-hour from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Admission to the fundraising event is a $25.00 per person donation to the Historical Society, and proceeds will go toward the renovation of the historic Harbor Springs City Hall and creation of a future historical museum.

As was the case last year, Wayne Sapulski, Bernie Hellstrom and I will be helping the HSAHS by serving as tour guides, and I hope to see you at this opportunity to get "up close and personal" with this usually difficult to photograph light station.

Tours are by reservation only. Send a letter requesting information to the HSAHS, P.O. Box 812, Harbor Springs, MI 49740 or call the historical society office at 231-526-9771.


Seventeen years after the publication of their first book "Living at a lighthouse," in 1987, the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association has published a second book of oral histories of USLHE and USCG keepers and their children titled "Reliving Lighthouse Memories." Profusely illustrated and edited by GLLKA Straits Coordinator Sandy Planisek, the 200-page book features fascinating and insightful stories in the words of those who lived the experiences. MLC highly recommends this book as a valuable tool for anyone interested in Great Lakes history. The book is very reasonably priced at only $13.95, with all proceeds going to help fund the association's restoration and education programs. To order a copy, contact the GLLKA office at (231) 436-5580.


As part of the restoration of the Old Mackinac Point light station, the decision has been made to return the barn to its historic location approximately 50 feet behind the lighthouse. The barn was removed from the site in 1957, and while subsequently painted a hideous grayish-blue, has been sitting in storage to the rear of Fort Michilimackinac ever since, and is in excellent. In fact, it is sad to say prior to the recent restoration effort, MSHP took better care of the barn than they did of the lighthouse itself! Plans are for the barn to return to its original "home" this September. Congratulations must go out to Phil Porter and his visionary attitude towards Old Mackinac Point. Thanks to Phil's leadership of MSHP, Michigan's most visible lighthouse is finally being returned to its original glory.



Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy and Gull Rock Lightkeeper's Association are applying for the Gull Rock Lighthouse through the National Lighthouse Preservation Act. The application is due in September of 2004. We will keep you posted as to the progress of this venture and the possible award of this lighthouse to our organization for preservation.



Jacobsville Lighthouse for sale. Please visit their website for more information. Here is your chance to own a piece of history.



Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan, is searching for an excess
U.S. Coast Guard lookout tower of the style once located at the Munising
Station.  The tower was fabricated (one of eight) by McClintic-Marshall
Corporation of Bethlehem, PA at a cost of $2,092 in 1932 or 1933.
Information on an excess tower of this description should be forwarded to
Gregg Bruff, Chief of Heritage Education, Pictured Rocks National
Lakeshore, 906-387-2607, <>.  Gregg can provide a
digital image of the tower upon request.



The Harbor Springs Area Historical Society, in cooperation with the Harbor Point Lighthouse Committee, will be offering tour for the first time in the history of the lighthouse since it has been privately owned by the Harbor Point Association. The lighthouse has never been open to the public like this before and is a great opportunity to raise money for the local historical society and see a lighthouse that normally you can not.

Tours of the lighthouse are on October 18, 2003 from 9:00am to 5:00pm for a minimum donation of $20 per visitor. This is by reservation only. Please make your reservation by calling Judy at (231) 439-5121 and tell her you saw the Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy news section. Please help out the society and get your once in a lifetime chance to visit this historic lighthouse.


Visit with Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy at the festival

8th Annual

Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival

Alpena, MI.

October 9-12, 2003

There will be helicopter, bus, boat and plane tours throughout the weekend, area lighthouses will be open. Climb to the top of the tower and gaze across the lake. Visit with lighthouse groups from all over the Great Lakes and beyond. Lots of lighthouse exhibits, vendors, food, music, dancing and dinner.

Call 989-595-3632 for more information

Most events begin or take place at the Alpena Civic Center & Thunder Bay Recreation Center. All the booth displays will be at the Thunder Bay Center.

Please check out the festival web site at the following, it provides a lot of information on the events and activities in the area and local museums.

Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival Web Site



As most of you know the Outer Banks Conservationists were chosen to be
stewards of the Currituck Lighthouse through the application process under
the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA). An official in
the Dept. of Interior is stalling the process and is reportedly asking both
parties to reach a compromise or reapply. Mike Vogel, ALCC president, wrote
the following letter of protest:

Dear Mr. Manson

I am sending this message, in lieu of a more formal letter to ensure its
timeliness, to voice concern over the attack on a properly legislated
process that is embedded in the current controversy over Currituck
Lighthouse. As president of the American Lighthouse Coordinating Committee,
a national leadership council and forum for the lighthouse preservation
movement, I am disturbed by the erosion of carefully-considered lighthouse
disposition policies as passed by Congress in the National Lighthouse
Preservation Act of 2000 -- an act, ironically, cosponsored by Mr. Jones.
This issue is being followed very carefully by the lighthouse preservation
community. We have supported, and continue to support, the Outer Banks
Conservationists in their effort to continue stewardship of the Currituck
Lighthouse, a role they have earned because of their proven track record
and their restoration of the structure. Beyond that, the community at large
also is dealing with mounting concern over the deterioration of towers
because of the impact of high-volume visitation, for which they were not
originally designed. Properly managed, visitation can be accommodated with
minimal negative impacts (vibration damage to stairs, scratch and corrosion
damage to increasingly old and fragile lenses, etc.). We believe proper
stewardship is much more likely to come from a preservation group, attuned
to the balance between conservation and display, than to a municipality or
tourism agency interested primarily in accommodating the maximum number of
visitors. We note with concern the opinion voiced by Mr. Jones, in this
case, that the county would be most capable of serving the many people who
want to visit the light. Even if that is not his or the county's dominant
guiding philosophy, it offers no confidence that county stewardship would,
now or in the future, seek the best programs for both the tower and for
visitors -- a role the Outer Banks organization already has proven it can
fill, admirably.

The Currituck question itself, though, is only part of this problem. There
is the more fundamental problem of erosion of the National Lighthouse
Preservation Act itself, which was designed to govern disposition of light
structures in a way that ensures best stewardship. Mr. Jones' efforts,
while undoubtedly intended to serve his home constituents, amount to an
attack on that process -- which, as the Congressional Quarterly's weekly
magazine recently noted, is also an attack on a process he co-sponsored.
Consistency aside, the derailing of this process and its time deadlines is
disturbing on a national scale, not just a local one. You may see this as a
local dispute; we see it as a torpedo fired at a newly-launched ship. I
would at this time ask you to conform your decisions to the process and the
time frame of the NHLPA and its implementing guidelines. In our judgement,
that would mean confirming the existing stewardship of the OBC. Such a
decision would not only reaffirm legislated and stated national policy, but
also leave this specific lighthouse in the hands of an organization that
has restored, preserved, maintained and displayed it with an admirable
level of success -- instead of turning it over to new management with no
lighthouse experience. This is not, at its core, an economic development or
tourism exploitation issue; those are worthy but ancillary aspects, to what
is in essence a mandate for ensuring the best possible preservation and
lasting appreciation of an historic treasure. That was the heart of the
NHLPA legislation, and we ask that it guide and rule your considerations now.



East Brother Light Station (EBLS) in San Francisco Bay off Pt. San Pablo,
California, is seeking any information, technical data, parts or audio
related to the F-2-T diaphone foghorn signals. A recent overhaul
facilitated the North horn to blow, but at a wrong signal. Refurbishment of
the South horn has assured guests at the inn and residents throughout the
San Francisco Bay, the familiar 20 second repeat of the 3 second high & 2
second low EBLS signature at 600 PM Thurs through Sunday and as deemed
necessary to salute passing ships or just as a "test"! (USCG electronic
signal operates October to April). Anyone having access to or knowledge of
the USCG Fog Signal manual and specific schematics for the F-2-T type
please contact Darwin K. Erickson <> or 775-356-7001
(family business). EBLS is a grand old Victorian Lady, built in 1873 and
lovingly restored Bed & Breakfast Inn whose current keepers are Capt. Curt
& Carolyn Henry. Please check out <> to see the restoration and



The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) is seeking old movies,
photographs and recollections of interesting events related to the DeTour
Reef Light and DeTour Point Light.  Under a grant received from the
Michigan Coastal Management Program, the Society is producing a video
perspective of the DeTour Reef Light and the video document would be
greatly enhanced by the addition of historical information (films, photos,
videos, personal experiences, etc.) not currently in the Society's
possession.  The DRLPS is particularly seeking interior photographs and
films, not only for use in the video perspective, but to assist in the
interior renovation and furnishing of the Lighthouse.   Individuals willing
to provide such materials to the Society are requested to contact Society
Director David Bardsley by email <>, mail (James
Island, Drummond Island, MI 49706) or phone (906-493-6609).   Any materials
provided will be copied and returned to the owner.

Over the past several years, under the sponsorship of the Village of DeTour
and Drummond Island Township, DRLPS has been awarded several grants
totaling more than one million dollars from state and federal sources to
restore the DeTour Reef Light located in northern Lake Huron at the eastern
end of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The exterior restoration work will begin
this spring with interior restoration to follow.
The Society seeks to restore and preserve the DeTour Reef Light as an
offshore lighthouse museum and to educate the public on the lighthouse and
Michigan's maritime history.

Since 1847, a lighthouse has been located at DeTour Passage at the
northwestern head of Lake Huron at the mouth of St. Mary's River, which
connects Lake Huron to Lake Superior.   The first lighthouse, the DeTour
Point Light Station, was established on April 13, 1847, with the land being
acquired by presidential set aside. The buildings were constructed in the
same year. However, the light was not shown until 1848. Apparently by the
time the construction was completed it was too late in the year to fit the
light and employ the keeper. The original structure was described as a
white stone tower approximately 65 feet high with a five room, one and a
half story house. There are no known photographs or drawings of the
original structures. The iron tower that most people are familiar with at
the site was constructed in 1861.
Due to ever increasing ship traffic and the dangerous offshore reef, a new
lighthouse was built offshore called the DeTour Reef Light.
The DeTour Reef Light, located a mile offshore from the original onshore
lighthouse, was built in 1931. It is well known to ship captains and
pleasure boaters who sail the upper Great Lakes. The lighthouse stands as a
testament to the importance of shipping in the region's political, economic
and social history.

The lighthouse foundation, resting in 23 feet of water, is a crib style
concrete 20-feet high 60-feet square base that supports the reinforced
concrete/steel Art Deco-style square building. The white structure with a
red roof has a tower extending 63 feet over the deck making the top of the
tower 83 feet above the water.  Beginning in the 1870s, crib foundation
construction was used extensively for lighthouses on the Great Lakes. The
DeTour Reef Light is one of these examples. Wooden cribs were constructed
ashore, and then towed to the site and filled with stone. Once the crib had
settled to the bottom, it was capped with concrete or some other masonry.
Often, once the crib had settled, it was necessary to level the structure
by adding weight to one side or another. When construction on the building
was completed, the focal plane of the lens stood 74 above the water. The
light was first lit on November 7, 1931.

For generations the light at DeTour Passage has provided a beacon for those
vessels seeking the "Gateway to Superior." The DeTour Reef Light
Preservation Society was established in 1998 as a nonprofit 501c3
organization. To learn more about the organization and the lighthouse,
visit <>.



Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has acquired the front and rear range
lights of the Munising U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Station (also referred to
as the Munising Range Lights) through the National Historic Lighthouse
Preservation Act.  The primary purpose for acquisition is to continue
maintenance and upkeep of the building and for office space.

The Station building is being used as office space for park staff, housing
the Science and Natural Resources.  The building will be open to visiting
scientists, researchers and any others doing business with the National
Park Service.  The front range light is situated on a .32-acre parcel on
the shore of Lake Superior in Munising, Michigan.  It consists of the 1)
the front range light, a 58-foot white cylindrical brick and cast iron
tower, constructed in 1908; 2) a 360-square-foot metal-sided garage; 3) a
2,175-square-foot station building constructed out of brick and wood; 4) a
99-square-foot fuel storage building constructed out of brick, and 5) a
70-foot steel VHF tower.  The front range light shines 79 feet above the
water level of Lake Superior.  It was built to aid vessels navigating
through the narrow passage east and south of Grand Island into the main
harbor, often referred to as Munising Bay.   It is an active aid to
navigation, denoted as LLNR 14575.  The rear range light is located on
Hemlock Street, approximately one-third of a mile southwest of the front
range light on less than .02 acres and consists of a 33-foot white
cylindrical brick and cast iron tower.   It is an active aid to navigation,
denoted as LLNR 14580.  Three interpretive wayside exhibits are planned for
the station grounds to convey the rich history of shipping and aids to
navigation in the area.

The station ties in with the park mission to "preserve for the benefit,
inspiration, education, recreational use, and enjoyment of the public, a
significant portion of the diminishing shoreline of the United States and
its related geographic and scientific features."   Pictured Rocks National
Lakeshore interprets the history and stories associated with the U.S.
Lighthouse Service, U.S. Life Saving Service, and the U.S. Coast
Guard.  Current facilities within the park dedicated to this history are
the former U.S. Coast Guard lifeboat station at Sand Point in Munising
(1933), the former U.S. Coast Guard lifeboat station and Harbor of Refuge
keepers quarters at Grand Marais, Michigan (1938 and 1908), and the
lighthouse at Au Sable Point (1874) west of Grand Marais.  The Munising
Range Light and Grand Marais Harbor of Refuge Keepers Quarters are of
identical design, both constructed in 1908.  The National Park Service at
Pictured Rocks is a logical caretaker for the Munising Range Lights given
the mission of the park and current park operations.

For additional information, contact Gregg Bruff, Chief of Heritage
Education, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore at <>.



Both Eagle Harbor and Copper Harbor lights have broken down and are non operational as a result, with the Eagle Harbor light being dark for several months. It would appear that rotating gear systems in the old DCB-224’s have worn out. Coast Guard Station Portage has been attempting to secure the estimated $20,000 each estimated repair cost, however demands on the Coast Guard for Homeland Security issues are understandably taking precedence over Aids to Navigation at this time.


The Upper Entry Lighthouse and Coast Guard keepers quarters on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior was destroyed by fire on the morning of April 9, 2003. The triplex 3-unit dwelling was built in the late 1930s after the original 1874 lighthouse was removed to widen the ship canal north entrance. It had been sold to private interests in the 1980s and had been used in the past number of years as a rental unit. Two units were rented to students of Michigan Technological University while the third was the owner's residence. No injuries or lives lost but the dwelling is a total loss. Another piece of history is gone. All that now remains of this lighthouse site is the 1930s combination garage/workshop/watch standing building.


Last of the lighthouse keepers of yesteryear

A great American hero has been lost with the passing of Louis Bauchan, who was the last known surviving lighthouse keeper of the United States Lighthouse Service, which was dissolved in 1939.

Bauchan, 91, passed away at his Cheboygan, Michigan home this past April.

Bauchan served as a lighthouse keeper at various Great Lakes lighthouses including St. Martins Island, Poverty Island, Chicago Harbor and Pointe Betsie. He also served on the Coast Guard Icebreaker Mackinaw. Wearing his lighthouse keeper’s uniform he was a fixture at each year’s Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival and other lighthouse events where he was always more than willing to share his memories and many photographs. Being a lighthouse keeper was more than a job to him. During his days as a lighthouse keeper he kept a detailed photographic account of his days in the U.S. Lighthouse Service and later the U.S. Coast Guard. With the help of his family those photographs and his memories have been recorded for future generations.  I’ll never forget the first time I met him; he was one of those people that you liked instantly. Not only was he part of the “Greatest Generation”, he was a hero of it. He left a legacy that will go down in history, there will never be another like him; he will be dearly missed. Our condolences go out to his family.

In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be sent to Friends of Pointe Betsie Lighthouse, P.O. Box 601, Frankfort, MI 49635.

Sympathy cards can be sent to - The Bauchan Family, P.O. Box 730, Houghton Lake, MI 48629-0730.


Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy Sends in Letters for Gull Rock and St. James Lighthouses

The conservancy has sent in letters of interest for both St. James Lighthouse and the Gull Rock Lighthouse. This is the first step in the process of obtaining the lighthouses for preservation. The next step is an open house with the government to look at the property and discuss options. Other groups have submitted for them as well. We want to make sure the lighthouses are preserved and do what is best for them.

We need to start actively raising funds to build up the bank account. The financial capability of a group is very important in the application process. If you can donate funds please do. Funding is very low and these projects are expensive to undertake. Please help by donating now.

We will keep you posted here as the process evolves and what the latest developments are in our efforts to obtain these lighthouses.


Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse Preservation Society is in need of your help.

We recently received an email from Karen Melton with the Thunder Bay Lighthouse Preservation Society, and feeling strongly about the importance of the work they are doing, have decided to send out this special notice.

A matching grant to restore the light tower on Thunder Bay Island is coming due in June of this year. The Society still has to raise $17,000 to meet a 3 for 1 grant. Every $1.00 they receive will be matched with about $3. The total grant is for $110,000. This is the cost to redo the tower so it will last for our children and their children to see and enjoy as much as we do.

There is a major crack in the outer portion of the tower with lots of small cracks running out from the major one. More cracks are being discovered every year. The major crack is 2-3" away from the base material. If something isn't done soon, we will lose the outer portion of the tower and it will cost much more to repair.

The organization doesn't have the money to save the tower at this time. They are looking for donations to help protect the state of Michigan's history.

As you are all aware, Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse was built in 1832, and was the third lighthouse built on the Lake Huron Shores. It is now the second oldest original remaining tower in the lower portion of Michigan. Your help is needed to preserve this history.

They need donations, memberships, or any help they can get, to help obtain this matching grant.

If you are interested, have questions or can donate to our cause, please contact: or send donations to:

Attn: Karen Melton
PO Box 212
Alpena, MI. 49707

If you would pass this message on to others, it may just help us reach our
goal before the deadline of June 30, 2003.



Clifton Taylor recently wrote from Presque Isle, Michigan, "The restoration of the New Presque Isle Lightstation, 1870, has been completed at a cost of $328,000.00 through a grant from the State of Michigan. The lightstation was obtained from the USCG by the Presque Isle Township and converted into a museum and park. The station is still an Active Aid to Navigation and, as such, the ownership of the 3rd order Fresnel lens was retained by the USCG at the time of transfer. This lens is in a poor condition after 133 years of service and is scheduled to be removed in the summer of 2003, to be replaced by a Vega-3. Controversy is still swirling around the removal of this historic lens, with the Township and the state SHPO committed to the ALCC position on historic lenses. We have offered to fund the lens removal, restoration and return of the lens to the lighthouse as a working ATON at no cost to the U.S. Coast Guard, a position which was rejected out of hand by the USCG at a meeting between the SHPO, the Township and the USCG. As a result of this arbitrary decision by the USCG, the citizens of this Township and the surrounding communities have petitioned our federal legislators for support in the retention of the lens. We are heartened by the support of Senator Carl Levin and Representative Bart Stupak in our efforts, as well as by the example set by Don Hampton and the folks at Ponce Inlet Lightstation in the restoration and retention of historic (and working) Fresnel lenses. We ask the support of the ALCC community in helping us retain the heart of our lightstation, the Henry LaPaute 3rd order Fresnel lens, manufactured circa 1856 and placed in the New Lightstation in 1870, which replaced the Old Presque Isle Light, 1840. Both lighthouses are part of our museum and park, open to the public every year from May through September."  Clifton indicated that "letters of support should be sent to the respective congressional delegations, referencing the USCG lens issue in general, and hopefully our lens in particular." 

Clifton is compiling a list of lighthouse groups that have had to pursue legislative action in order to retain their lenses and a list of Senators and Representatives, nationwide, who have supported the return of Fresnel lenses to their respective lighthouses through legislative action.  Clifton can be reached at <>



Jeri Baron Feltner sent the following release, "The DeTour Reef Light
Preservation Society has recently announced to the public and all
contractors, an Invitation to Bid on the restoration of the exterior of the
DeTour Reef Lighthouse which is located offshore about two miles from
DeTour Village.  As part of this bidding process, a mandatory pre-bid
meeting for general contractors interested in bidding on the DeTour Reef
Lighthouse restoration project will be held on Monday, March 10, at 1:00
p.m. at the DeTour Village Town Hall in DeTour Village, Michigan.

Ken Czapski of U.P. Engineers and Architects (UPEA) of Marquette, the
project architect, along with representatives from DeTour Village and
Directors of the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) will be
there to provide information on bid requirements and answer questions. A
tour of the lighthouse will follow, weather permitting. Transportation will
be provided via the Drummond Islander III ferry boat. Attendees are advised
to wear winter clothing for the tour of the offshore, unheated lighthouse.

Over the past several years, under the sponsorship of the Village of DeTour
and Drummond Island Township, DRLPS has been awarded several grants
totaling more than one million dollars from state and federal sources to
restore the DeTour Reef Light located in northern Lake Huron at the eastern
end of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The exterior restoration work will begin
this spring with interior restoration to follow.
Upon completion of the restoration work, the DRLPS expects to offer public
tours to this historic offshore lighthouse beginning in 2004.

As noted by Dr. Charles Feltner, the President of the DRLPS and Chairman of
the Restoration Committee, "The DRLPS founded in 1998 as a nonprofit 501c3
organization, has worked very hard for the last five years building the
volunteer organizational structure, the administrative and management
capability, and the financial strength to get to this point.  We are
enormously pleased that restoration will begin this spring.  We are very
excited about offering tours to the lighthouse to the public.  Our tours to
the DeTour Reef Light will be the first time that the public will have the
opportunity to visit an offshore lighthouse in the State of Michigan.  We
expect this to be a significant benefit to tourism and the economy of the
Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  The Michigan Department of
Transportation, the Department of Environmental Quality and the Michigan
Lighthouse Assistance Program, in providing the grants for this project,
are to be complimented for their vision."

According to Dave Bardsley, a Director of DRLPS and member of the
restoration committee responsible for restoration engineering, "Logistical
and project management skills required of the general contractor and
subcontractors to execute this restoration are significant. The offshore
location and feasible weather window demands attention to detail. The
experience of our architectural firm and the expertise contributed by our
volunteers has been vital to the development of restoration plans that are
acceptable to the Michigan State Preservation Historic Office (SHPO).  The
cooperation of SHPO has been crucial to our restoration program."

Copies of the contract documents may be obtained from UPEA, upon payment of
a $50 refundable deposit for each set, plus a $50 non-refundable handling
fee. Please contact Ken Czapski of UPEA (800-862-6061, 906-228-6061,

Sealed bids for the restoration project will be received by the Village of
DeTour at the DeTour Village Town Hall, 260 S. Superior St., DeTour Village
MI 49725, until 4:00 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, March 25, 2003, at which time
these sealed bids will be publicly opened and read aloud.
Along with interested contractors, the public is invited to attend this
meeting. For more information, please contact Chuck Feltner, President of
DRLPS (906-493-6079, To learn more about the Society and
the lighthouses of DeTour Passage, visit their website"


SOUTH HAVEN -- January 9th, 2003. A committee that rescued South Haven’s catwalk in 1990 turned over the stewardship of the historic structure recently to the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven.

            On December 31, three members of the South Haven Catwalk and Lighthouse Preservation Committee donated $5,058 to the Maritime Museum.  The funds were the remainder of about $20,000 they had collected to preserve and renovate the catwalk.  Founding members Glenn Cowles, Dave Paull and Craig Niephaus presented a check to Betty Davis, chairperson of the Museum’s Lighthouse Acquisition Committee and Trustee Emeritus of the Museum.

            “We thank you for your vision because you have preserved the city’s signature,” Davis said at the presentation.

            Museum Executive Director Barbara Kreuzer explained that the donation would cover most of the $7,500 needed to match the Museum’s portion of a $22,500 grant from the State Historic Preservation Office.  “As a part of the grant we received from the State of Michigan, we are in the process of hiring an architectural firm to conduct a comprehensive study on the lighthouse and the catwalk,” she said.

            The current steel lighthouse was built in 1903, and the 800-foot iron catwalk was added in 1925.  The Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the catwalk, issued a license to the City of South Haven to operate and maintain it until December 2006.  Under that license the city is responsible for maintaining the structure, and it will continue to maintain the lighting system.  

            The Museum plans to offer tours of the lighthouse as part of its effort to educate the public about the role it played in South Haven’s maritime past. 

            Cowles noted that the catwalk is still an important navigational aid to boaters as well as a significant landmark.

            “We are pleased that our contribution will assist the Museum in creating a full scale development plan for the lighthouse and catwalk,” Cowles commented.  “We feel confident that the original vision of the Catwalk Committee will be continued and enhanced by the efforts of the Maritime Museum,” he added.

            Cowles announced that with the transfer of these funds to the Museum, they are dissolving the non-profit organization formed 12 years ago.  Kreuzer said that their gift demonstrates confidence in the Museum and that the Museum would continue to “take an active role in preserving the stories and the culture of Michigan’s Great Lakes and waterways.”

            The Museum plans to hold a variety of events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Lighthouse during the fall of 2003.  For further information contact the Museum at (800) 747-3810, (269) 637-8078 or visit our website

            The Michigan Maritime Museum is located at the Dyckman Avenue Bridge in South Haven.  Formed in 1976, the Museum is a private, non-profit, tax-exempt institution that operates with no tax-based funding.


Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy Attends Conference


Forty-two participants from 15 states and all four coasts gathered in

Buffalo in mid-October for a state-of-the-art instruction course in

the inspection, care and repair of classical lighthouse lenses. Hosted by

the Buffalo Lighthouse Association, the three-day course brought together

most of the nation's top lighthouse lens and lantern room experts and

students from the National Park Service, Coast Guard, Bureau of Land

Management, and non-government lighthouse sites and lighthouse organizations.

The course included two days of classroom instruction and a training day

that included work with a fourth-order bivalve Barbier, Beard et Turenne

lens in the historic 1833 Buffalo Light, emergency repairs to ameliorate

litharge failure in the bulls-eyes of a third order Chance Brothers lens at

the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, and inspections of a

fourth-order fixed lens at Buffalo's Coast Guard base and a fifth-order

fixed lens at the historical society museum. Museum curators also made

their extremely rare, early 19th century Argand-Lewis lens, one of only two

in America and the only one in a public collection, available for inspection.

Instructors for the Lenses and Lanterns II training course, co-organized by

the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC)

and the American Lighthouse Coordinating Committee (ALCC), included

nationally-respected lampists Jim Woodward, CWO Joe Cocking and Jim Dunlap,

as well as metalwork experts Gary Knappenberger and Alex Klahm, lens

historian Thomas Tag, U.S. Coast Guard Curator Gail Fuller, International

Chimney Corp. lighthouse project manager Joe Jakubik, and lighthouse site

leaders Lee Radzak (Split Rock), Don Hampton (Ponce de Leon). Sessions also

were led by ALCC president Mike Vogel, who distributed an updated version

of the ALCC's national lens inventory, and NPS HPTC director Tom McGrath,

who organized the instruction program with early assistance of Cullen

Chambers of Tybee Island Lighthouse, who had hosted the first such lens

session in Florida nine years ago.

Participants took home several print and electronic tools from the

conference. Lens restoration specialist Dan Spinella, who participated as

an instructor long-distance from Florida, debuted and distributed a new

40-minute "Lighthouse Illumination Technical Edition" video that drew rave

reviews, and will be marketed soon. Dan also produced an 18-minute video on

replacement optics especially for the conference. In addition to the ALCC

National Lighthouse Lens Survey in print form, students and instructors

alike also received a CD-ROM with speaker-provided course materials and

reprints of items ranging from the ALCC lens position paper to the entire

Historic Lighthouse Preservation Handbook, and a new Coast Guard CD-ROM

debuted by Gail Fuller that includes, among other things, the Coast Guard's

historic lighthouse records in searchable form. Not only that, they got to

sample true Buffalo-style chicken wings at the Anchor Bar, where they were



Tawas Coast Guard Station

The former US Life Saving/US Coast Guard Station located in Tawas, Michigan is up for sale. The asking price is $750,000. The Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy (MLC) is interested in saving this property from the demolition block. The property has no historic preservation covenants on it. It is one of only a few 1876 stick style life saving station architectural styles left in Michigan and throughout the country. The site comes as is and is available to be split up into condos or whatever anyone wants to do with it, including demolition.

The station has 350 foot of lake frontage. It is in a family trust right now. All heating, septic, appliances, etc. are intact and in working condition. Without a historic preservation covenant attached to it, we are almost certainly going to lose this station if a preservationist or organization does not get their hands on it. As most people know, the original life saving service 1876 stick style boat house station is still there but has been modified over the years. I have been to the site and you can still make out the details on the building even though it has been added onto numerous times. As most of these stations in the past were torn down we don't want to lose this one either.

For the full story with photos click here.



The American Lighthouse Coordinating Committee (ALCC) is a consortium of organizations and individuals dedicated to lighthouse preservation, restoration and rehabilitation. It seeks to develop consensus positions on issues of broad and far-reaching significance to the lighthouse community, share knowledge and expertise on lighthouse preservation issues with the Coast Guard and other government and lighthouse organizations, and serve as a central communication and coordination point to keep the lighthouse community informed about critical issues. The ALCC serves as a voice for the community.

 Please send items of interest to the lighthouse preservation community to Candace Clifford at <>. Sorry, items marketing lighthouse promotional items will generally not be accepted. Anyone wishing to unsubscribe should send a message to that effect to <>.

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Copyright © 2001-2010 Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06/15/11.