Updated December 26, 2007
2008 GREAT LAKES REGIONAL LIGHTHOUSE CONFERENCE
The Michigan Lighthouse Alliance,
an affiliation of Michigan lighthouse stewards and stakeholders, will be
holding a conference on lighthouse preservation, June 11-13, 2008.
and panels will
cover all aspects of owning, restoring, and preserving historic lighthouses.
Themes include economic development, technical assistance, moisture control,
insurance insights/problems, and organizational development. For those
interested in obtaining a lighthouse or those that are already involved in
lighthouse preservation, this conference will be an educational must. The
National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act transfer process will be
briefly covered for new stewards.
represent a wide range of individuals, corporate, private business, federal
and state agencies, local governments, and nonprofit organizations. our
technical speaker program will consist of major issues facing lighthouse
organizations, whether it be finance, management, gift shops, or technical
restoration topics such as moisture control and peeling paint. Industry
experts will be giving us their advice.
More information will be published in the
months to come. The web site address for the conference is
www.michiganlighthousealliance.org. Please reserve the date now so you
can plan on attending this advanced topic lighthouse conference. For more
information or questions on the conference and to get more information
e-mailed to you periodically, contact Sally Frye at (231) 590-4004 or by
"Ladies of the Lights" Michigan’s Women Lightkeepers
featured at the Michigan Women’s Historical Center & Hall of Fame.
Lighthouse keeping in the 19th and early 20th
centuries was a rugged life of long hours and hard work punctuated by
periods of real peril. Not a profession for the faint-hearted, it was
thought to be unsuitable employment for the “fairer sex.” But at least 50
women in Michigan proved the naysayers wrong. Acting as both assistants and
full-fledged keepers, these women served the sailing community with
distinction for more than 100 years—often juggling their official duties
with the demands of raising a family. And more than one woman gave her life
for the Lighthouse Service. Stirring stories of dedication and determination
may be found in this new exhibit, as well as hands-on activities for young
Michigan Women’s Historical Center & Hall of Fame
213 W. Main St., Lansing
Pointe Aux Barques Life Saving Service 1880 Disaster Presentation
A slide presentation telling the story of the tragic loss of life of all
but one of the surfboat crew members, Jerome Kiah the station keeper, in a
rescue attempt will be presented at the Huron City Museum complex on
Saturday June 16, 2007 at 1:00PM by Debbie Jett. This is based off the
research by Debbie regarding the disaster and the life of the crew members.
Much of this information has never been published or researched and will be
an informative seminar. Pointe Aux Barques and the Huron City Museum complex
is located in Michigan's thumb and for more information contact Debbie Jett
at 773-327-6881 or via e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call
Huron City Museums at
These grants effect lighthouse projects in 2007.
Our Lights' License Plates Provide $233,300 for Projects at Eight of
Michigan's Historic Lighthouses
Sachau, SHPO (517) 373-1904
Arts and Libraries
Dec. 8, 2006
Department of History,
Arts and Libraries Director Dr. William Anderson and Michigan Historical
Center Director Sandra Clark today announced $233,300 in lighthouse
preservation grants to eight organizations for 2007, pending approval of the
State Administrative Board.
The Michigan Lighthouse
Assistance Program, administered by the State Historic Preservation Office,
is funded by proceeds from the sale of the "Save our Lights" license plate.
Lighthouse grants are given to state and local governments or nonprofit
organizations that are maintaining or restoring lighthouses.
Recipients must provide 50 percent of the grant award as matching funds.
Since the program's inception in 2000, more than $985,000 has been awarded.
"Michigan has more
lighthouses than any other state in the nation," said Anderson.
"Every Save Our Lights license plate purchased helps ensure that these Great
Lakes icons - an important part of Michigan's history - are safeguarded for
future generations to enjoy."
"The lighthouse grant
recipients demonstrate incredible commitment," added Clark.
"We must keep in mind that the people rehabilitating lighthouses work in
some of the most difficult conditions imaginable, much like the keepers of
long ago. Their dedication results in the preservation
of some of Michigan's most unique and picturesque structures."
The Michigan Lighthouse
Assistance Program was established to assist in the preservation,
rehabilitation and protection of lighthouses in Michigan.
The program arose from a concern about the disposal of over 70 lighthouses
in Michigan by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Fiscal Year 2007 Michigan
Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) grant recipients include:
$34,000 - Charlevoix
Historical Society - Charlevoix South Pier Lighthouse
With its second MLAP grant, the Charlevoix Historical Society will
address moisture problems by repairing the roof, windows and doors; add
drainage holes; replace two windows; install louvered grates in the
floor; install metal flashing where needed; and repair warping steel
plate skin on the exterior.
$30,000 - DeTour Reef
Light Preservation Society - DeTour Reef Light Station
The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society has received $75,000 in
Michigan Lighthouse Assistance grants in four previous awards.
The society has already completed a major rehabilitation of the
lighthouse and will, with the 2007 grant, replace a second "twin" deck
$40,000 - Grand
Traverse Lighthouse Museum - Grand Traverse Light Station
The Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum will use the grant funds to
waterproof the lighthouse's stone foundation; add a stone maintenance
strip around the foundation; repair/replace rotting floor joists;
waterproof the crawl space under the lighthouse keeper's kitchen;
insulate pipes in the basement; replace the septic system and drain
field; and replace the sidewalks that will be removed for the project.
This is the museum's second MLAP grant.
$27,900 - Township of
Grosse Ile - Grosse Ile North Channel Front Range Light
Grant funds will be used to remove and replace the copper upper deck and
railing on the lighthouse tower; scrape and paint the tower; and replace
glass in the lantern room.
$40,000 - Gull Rock
Lightkeepers - Gull Rock Light Station
The Gull Rock Lightkeepers received a $6,700 grant in 2006 for plans and
specifications for a roof replacement and patching.
The 2007 funds will be used to pay for a new roof on the lighthouse and
detached outhouse. This is the lightkeepers' second
$3,400 - Keweenaw
Land Trust, Inc. - Manitou Island Light Station
Grant funds will pay for repair and replacement of security panels on
the Fog Signal Building windows. The land trust
received a $10,400 award in 2004.
$40,000 - County of
Benzie - Point Betsie Light Station
This will be the fifth grant awarded to Benzie County for the
rehabilitation of the Point Betsie Light Station.
The $40,000 grant will pay for interior work in the lighthouse building.
Previous awards have funded exterior work on the out buildings and plans
and specifications for the interior restoration.
With this grant the county's MLAP grant awards total $152,400.
$18,000 - Michigan
Maritime Museum - South Haven South Pier Light Station
Grant funds will pay for a roof replacement and new downspouts on the
keeper's dwelling. This is the museum's second MLAP
The State Historic
Preservation Office (SHPO) assists in the identification, rehabilitation and
interpretation of Michigan's historic resources. SHPO is
a division of the Michigan Historical Center, part of the Department of
History, Arts and Libraries (HAL). Dedicated to
enriching quality of life and strengthening the economy by providing access
to information, preserving and promoting Michigan's heritage and fostering
cultural creativity, HAL also includes the Library of Michigan, the Mackinac
Island State Park Commission, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural
Affairs and the Michigan Film Office. For more
April 3rd, 2007
Tours feature Great
From Cheboygan Tribune Staff Writer
MACKINAW CITY - A variety of lighthouse-related excursions on the Great
Lakes will be offered by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association
during the 2007 season.
Multiple trips will depart from
Mackinaw City. Among them are two separate day-trips to the St. Helena
Island Lighthouse for lunch on June 27 and July 11, two separate overnight
schooner trips to St. Helena Island on July 26-27 and July 28-29 and a
two-day St. Mary's River lighthouse cruise on Aug. 27-28.
Other tours offered this season include a Lake Michigan lighthouse cruise
departing from Leland, Mich., a Port Huron/St. Clair River lighthouse cruise
departing from Port Huron, Mich. and a two-day tour of lighthouses in the
Buffalo, N.Y. area.
As a registered non-profit group based out of Mackinaw City, the Great Lakes
Lighthouse Keepers Association uses a portion of the income resulting from
these tours in hands-on lighthouse restoration and preservation.
“In arranging these tours, we try to create unique experiences for those
with an interest in Great Lakes lighthouses and history,” said Great Lakes
Lighthouse Keepers Association Executive Director Terry Pepper. “We include
views of lighthouses which are either difficult or impossible for the public
to see or visit, combined with expert narration, thereby providing insight
into the histories of the lighthouses themselves and to the integral role
they played in the growth of the Midwest and the United States in general.
As such, the tours provide the double benefit of providing a meaningful
experience to our guests, while helping restore the lighthouses we all
Pepper noted that the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association is
dedicated to the restoration of Great Lakes lighthouses, preserving the
memories of the individuals who served at them and fostering a new
generation of preservationists to ensure that lighthouses continue to stand
for many future generations to experience and enjoy.
“To this end, we have invested almost 20 years in our restoration of the St.
Helena Island lighthouse, on an isolated island in Lake Michigan, seven
miles west of the Mackinac Bridge,” Pepper explained. “Much of this work was
undertaken by Boy Scouts and Association volunteers. These Scouts not only
gained a unique experience in the hands-on restoration, but they obtained
what we hope will be a long-lasting love for the lighthouse, which we hope
will draw them back in later years to carry on the work we started.”
The group also owns a lighthouse in Cheboygan, on the shore of Lake Huron,
“We took ownership of the Cheboygan River Front Range lighthouse in 2004
through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act,” Pepper said.
“After completion of a professional engineering study of the lighthouse last
year, we learned that there has been significant deterioration since the
building was erected in 1880. The total cost of restoration is expected to
be close to $200,000. Clearly, that's not the kind of money a non-profit
group has languishing in its bank account, and with federal and state
funding drying up, we must seek alternate ways to fund our restoration and
ongoing preservation effort. The income from these lighthouse excursions
plays a critical role in this effort.”
For more information on tours or for additional information on the Great
Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association in general, call the Great Lakes
Lighthouse Keepers Association office at 231-436-5580, send an e-mail to
email@example.com or visit the group's Web
site at www.gllka.com on the Internet.
Excerpts taken from original press release concerning Michigan Holland
Harbor Lighthouse Transfer
Office of the Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2007 Contacts:
Holland Harbor Lighthouse Transfer Announcement
Secretary Kempthorne Announces Transfer of 36th
Lighthouse under 2000 Preservation Law; Holland Harbor Lighthouse 12th in
Michigan to Be Protected
Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne
announced today that he recently signed official papers that will
transfer Holland Harbor South Pierhead Light in Michigan to the Holland
Harbor Lighthouse Historical Commission.
Dubbed “Big Red,” the fire-engine-colored lighthouse is a well known
sight where Black Lake (Macatawa Lake) empties into Lake Michigan. In
fact, its twin-gabled roof, reflecting the Dutch influence in the city
of Holland, Mich., makes it as much of an icon as the city’s windmills
With today's announcement, Holland Harbor will become the 36th
lighthouse the department and its National Park Service have protected
by recommending it for transfer from the U.S. Coast Guard to other
agencies and nonprofits under the National Historic Lighthouse
Preservation Act of 2000.
The Holland Harbor Lighthouse Historical Commission has cared for the
lighthouse since the Coast Guard announced plans to abandon it in the
“The Department of the Interior commends the Holland Harbor
Lighthouse Historical Commission for its three decades of stewardship
for this lighthouse,” Secretary Kempthorne said. “Partnerships like this
one are protecting lighthouses from coast to coast. They are the best
way to preserve our history and build our future.”
This lighthouse joins a colorful group of lighthouses on the West and
East coasts and in the Great Lakes region—ranging from Sentinel Light in
Alaska to St. Augustine Lighthouse in Florida to Sturgeon Point Light in
Michigan. In fact, 12 of the 36 lighthouses are in Michigan. (See the
list at end of this release.)
The Holland Harbor Light, which is listed on the National Register of
Historic Places, has played an integral part in the city’s history. When
seeking a location for settlement in 1847, the Reverend A. C. Van Raalte
and his Dutch emigrant followers were attracted by the potential of
Black Lake as a harbor. The first lighthouse built at this location was
a wooden structure constructed in 1872. The present structure was
erected in 1907 and “Big Red” was automated in 1932. When the Coast
Guard recommended that it be closed, citizens organized the Holland
Harbor Lighthouse Historical Commission to preserve and restore the
historic landmark. The commission has been operating it under a Coast
Like other lighthouses around the country, the Holland Harbor
Lighthouse was no longer wanted by the Coast Guard after the fading of
commercial boat traffic and automation. A number of other lighthouses,
not as well known as Big Red, were headed for abandonment or surplus.
In 2000, however, enactment of the National Historic Lighthouse
Preservation Act provided a new way to protect such lighthouses by
enabling the Department of the Interior to recommend the transfer of
historic lighthouses (at no cost) to federal agencies, state and local
governments, nonprofit corporations and community development
The law places preservation of the historic light station first. In
cooperation with the Coast Guard and the General Services
Administration, the department and its National Park Service are working
to find the best stewards for long-term preservation of lighthouses.
Nearly 300 lighthouses nationwide have been identified as eligible
for transfer under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, so
the Secretary will be considering applications for new ownership of
other lighthouses in the future.
For more information about the National Historic Lighthouse
Preservation Act and these lighthouses, application deadlines,
eligibility and other information, go to
http://www.cr.nps.gov/maritime/nhlpa/nhlpa.htm or email
The Department of the Interior has recommended the Michigan lighthouses
on the accompanying list for transfer since 2002; some have already been
transferred and others are still in process.
Charlevoix South Pierhead Light - to the City of Charlevoix, Michigan
Cheboygan River Front Range Lighthouse - to the Great Lakes Lighthouse
Detour Reef Light - to the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society
Fort Gratiot Light Station - to the City of Port Huron, Michigan
Gull Rock Light - to the Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy
Harbor Beach Lighthouse - to the City of Harbor Beach, Michigan
Holland Harbor Lighthouse – to the Holland Harbor Lighthouse Historical
Ludington North Breakwater Light - to the City of Ludington, Michigan
Manitou Island Light - to the Keweenaw Land Trust
Munising Station Front and Rear Range Lights - to Pictured Rocks
St. James (Beaver Harbor) Light - to St. James Township
Sturgeon Point Light – to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources
and the Alcona Historical Society
If any lighthouse group has any special
promotional events coming up please e-mail us and we will post them here.