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Updated October 2008

Tawas Point State Park’s Haunted Lighthouse Scheduled for Oct. 18

Tawas Point State Park will host its first Haunted Lighthouse event the
weekend of October 17-18. Activities at the lighthouse will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, and continue until 5 p.m.  Activities will include campsite decorating, pumpkin painting, corn husk doll making, children’s games and
activities, lighthouse tours, hayrides, trick-or-treating for campers, and concessions.

Trick-or-treating for campers will be held from 6 to 8 p.m.  Campers
are encouraged to bring treats to pass out.  The lighthouse will reopen
from 7 to 9 p.m. for nighttime tours.

Tawas Point State Park is located at 686 Tawas Beach Rd., off US-23,
two and one-half miles southeast of East Tawas.  The park offers 193
modern campsites with eight accessible sites and accessible
toilet/shower buildings.  Camping reservations can be made on-line at, or by calling 800-447-2757.  At this time
of year, reservations are not site specific.  Campers can choose their
site from those available when they arrive at the park.

For more information about this event, the park, or accessibility at
the park, contact Charles Allen, park supervisor, at 989-362-5041 (or
TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired), or visit the
web site at

All motor vehicles entering a state park or recreation area must
display a Motor Vehicle Permit, available for purchase at the entrance.
Cost is $24 for resident annual and $6 for resident daily. A
non-resident annual is $29 and a non-resident daily is $8.


MLC to apply for the Muskegon lighthouses under the NLHPA

The Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy will be submitting an application under the National Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 for the Muskegon South Breakwater and Pierhead lighthouses. This process allows nonprofits to obtain the lighthouse for free through a competitive application process. We are filing our application this fall and feel we will be successful in obtaining these lights. These lights are in need of a lot of maintenance, which will require donations and fundraising.

All that remains of the lighthouse today are the individual towers as the keepers residence was torn down back in the early 1970's to make way for a new US Coast Guard station. Over the years the areas lighthouses, breakwaters and piers have changed quite a bit. We are working on our application and if you are interested in offering any services for these lights, please contact us.


McGulpin Point Lighthouse Sold to Emmett County

McGulpin Point Lighthouse was a privately owned residence until recently that saw service as a light station until it was decommissioned in 1906. McGulpin Point Lighthouse was replaced by the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City. The lighthouse has been for sale since 2005. With the recent economic downturn and property values declining, the price was dropped two years ago. A recent appraisal by the county for tax purposes valued it below the asking price again to a point where the county said yes. Emmet County is now the new owner of the lighthouse. According to a story in the Petoskey News-Review, the County Board of Commissioners have passed (in a six to one vote) a resolution to purchase the property for nearly $720,000. The sale was recently finalized, and the county has established a new County Historical Commission, whose duty it will be to create a long-term plan for the light station’s restoration and interpretation. GLLKA President Dick Moehl and GLLKA Straits Coordinator Sandy Planisek are both serving active roles on this commission. The potential for this historic lighthouse with the help of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association is something to look forward to.


Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy Turns Deed for Gull Rock Lighthouse over to Gull Rock Lightkeepers Organization

The Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy was the successful applicant for the Gull Rock lighthouse located near Copper Harbor in Lake Superior a few years ago. We had a working agreement in place to turn the lighthouse over to a dedicated group called “Gull Rock Lightkeepers” who were just getting started at the time specifically to care for this lighthouse. After a few years they completed phase one of the restoration work by having a new roof put on the lighthouse as well as cleaning up the interior, which was packed full of the collapsed roof and tons of debris. With proper restoration plans in place, we tuned over the deed over to them this summer of 2008.


JELD-WEN Reliable Lighthouse Restoration Initiative update

Congratulations to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse for being selected one of 12 finalists in this year’s JELD-WEN Reliable Lighthouse Restoration Initiative. It was a real honor to be chosen from 50 nominees for the public voting process this summer, and we hope it brought the lighthouse well-deserved attention and additional supporters. Every one of the finalists certainly deserves to win new windows and doors. The public opinion poll is a way to help JELD-WEN narrow the field for the final stage of this important and difficult decision.

Based on the results of the public poll, Grand Traverse is one of the three lighthouses moving forward in the selection process, in alphabetical order: Bodie Island Light Station, Grand Traverse Lighthouse and New Canal Lighthouse. Together they generated 70% of the votes, clearly the “people’s choice.” JELD-WEN will continue to evaluate your lighthouse’s needs, requirements, and overall restoration plans to select the ultimate winner and announce the decision this fall at


2008 Regional Lighthouse Conference

Early Registration Extended to April 30th

June 11-13, 2008 at the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City, Michigan.

The Michigan Lighthouse Alliance will be holding a conference on lighthouse preservation efforts in the Great Lakes region June 11-13, 2008.

The theme of this conference will be "Preserving Lighthouses For Tomorrow’s Generation."

Conference sessions and panels will cover all aspects of owning, restoring, and preserving historic lighthouses, mainly concentrating on topics for those that are already stewards, owners or lessees of a lighthouse. 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.

Speakers will represent a wide range of individuals, corporate, private business, federal and state agencies, local governments, and nonprofit organizations.

Before we can finalize our technical speaker program, we want to hear from you! Please let us know what are a few major issues facing your lighthouse or organization, whether it be finance, management, gift shops, or technical restoration topics such as moisture control and peeling paint. This conference is for you and we want to gear it towards issues that we all face so industry experts can give us their advice. 

Please submit any suggested topics and or speakers no later than December 31, 2007 to Sally Frye noted below.

More information will be forwarded in the months to come as topics are secured from your input as well as a web site address on the conference. We wanted to make sure you 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 submit any topics of interest from your organization, contact Sally Frye at (231) 590-4004 or by e-mail at


March 19, 2008


JELD-WEN Launches Public Campaign to Help Restore the Nation’s Most Reliable Lighthouse

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The nation’s attention is focused squarely on the big election of 2008. Who will be the top candidates – the contenders that shine brightest, the ones with the most character, or the ones with the longest history?

Questions such as these will be answered as JELD-WEN Windows & Doors launches a major public campaign to select the nation’s most reliable lighthouse for 2008. The company is calling for the public to nominate worthy lighthouse candidates in need of new windows and doors for their restoration efforts. The winning site will receive a window and door makeover from JELD-WEN.

“It’s bound to be a tough race this year; there are so many worthy candidates,” said Lynne Butterworth, campaign manager for the

JELD-WEN Reliable Lighthouse Restoration Initiative. “We’re working hard to reach and rally lighthouse lovers, historic preservation enthusiasts, architecture fans and lighthouse communities to cast their nominations for the big 2008 decision.”

Whether it’s a red state or a blue state, every nomination counts. People can nominate their favorite lighthouse in need of new windows and doors by visiting before May 18 and answering a few simple questions. Operators of the nominated lighthouses will be invited to provide more detailed information about their restoration programs. Later this summer, the top nominees will be posted on and the public will be called upon to vote for their favorite lighthouse finalists.

Finding the worthy successor

From coast to coast, stretching all the way to Alaska and Hawaii, there are more than 670 lighthouses in the United States, according to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Many are challenged by extreme weather conditions and lack funding for restoration efforts to properly protect and maintain their structures.

The JELD-WEN Reliable Lighthouse Restoration Initiative began in 2005 as a way to preserve these beloved U.S. landmarks with the latest in window and door technology, and help restore the original architecture and performance of the historic structures. The lighthouse selected for 2008 will be following in the footsteps of three impressive lighthouses: Umpqua River Lighthouse on Oregon’s southern coastline, Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay, and Wind Point Lighthouse in Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Royal treatment for the winning candidate

The lighthouse candidate selected as the 2008 winner will receive new JELD-WEN® wood windows and fiberglass doors featuring the latest technology advancements such as AuraLast® wood to protect against harsh weather while preserving the lighthouse’s unique architectural style.

“JELD-WEN windows and doors feature some of the

industry’s most innovative technology,” said

Butterworth. “Our lighthouse initiative proves the performance capability of our products in even the most extreme climates, while at the same time underscoring the importance of historic preservation.” 


JELD-WEN, inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of reliable windows and doors. Based in Klamath Falls, Ore., JELD-WEN began as a small Oregon millwork plant with 15 employees in 1960 and has grown to more than 20,000 employees in nearly 150 locations worldwide. Today the company manufactures a full breadth of windows, doors and garage doors, and has earned numerous awards and endorsements for reliability, innovation and excellence. For more information about the exceptional value and reliability of JELD-WEN® products, or to find a dealer near you, please visit or call 800-877-9482, ext. PR036.



DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society Invites All to Attend

the 10th Anniversary Celebration on August 30, 2008

Keeping the Light On for You  – 1998-2008

Drummond Island, MI  –  The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) invites you to attend the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the nonprofit volunteer lighthouse preservation organization to be held Saturday, August 30, 2008, in DeTour Village, Michigan.

DRLPS is extremely proud of their accomplishments to restore and preserve this Michigan maritime monument, and the team is very grateful to all the people and organizations that have helped Keep the Light On for the past ten years, including the dedicated volunteers, members, donors, and government and private organizations.


The 10th Anniversary Celebration will honor DRLPS accomplishments and those who have helped make the society successful, and to encourage continued efforts in lighthouse preservation. The event will be held at the Eastern Upper Peninsula Fine Arts Council Cultural Center, 245 Erie St., DeTour Village MI 49725, Saturday, August 30. Activities will include a social hour with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 5:30, dinner at 6:30, and presentations at 7:30, along with an ongoing slide show of the lighthouse prior, during, and after restoration, and other DRLPS activities.

Additionally, the lighthouse photo contest winners will be announced, along with the winners of the DeTour-Drummond High School student’s essay contest on “The Importance of Preserving Lighthouses.” Special door prizes and welcome gifts will be provided to attendees. Some of the participants will include former U.S. Coast Guard lighthouse keepers who have interesting stories to share about their work on the DeTour Reef Light.

Dinner will be donated and prepared by Sandy Wytiaz of Complete Business Designs of DeTour Village. Ticket cost is $15 per person, and a cash bar will be available. Additionally, the 1908 Fresnel lens used at the lighthouse is on display at the DeTour Passage Historical Museum and a narrated history of this historic beacon will be provided on August 30.


Situated a mile offshore at the far eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the historic 1931 83-foot DeTour Reef Light proudly stands guard at a dangerous reef in DeTour Passage at the mouth of the strategic St. Mary’s River which connects Lake Huron to Lake Superior. The Light was automated in 1974, and in 1997 the lighthouse was declared surplus property by the U. S. Coast Guard due to sophisticated navigational systems aboard ships and the lack of funding to care for the structure in accordance with historic preservation guidelines.

In January 1998, a group of concerned citizens put their heads and hearts together and formed a nonprofit organization to preserve the DeTour Reef Light for all to enjoy, and the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society was born.  Much has been accomplished with high standards and attitudes of excellence over the past ten years thanks to the diligent hard work, talent and perseverance of volunteers. Major lighthouse restoration was completed in 2004, and first-ever public tours and overnight keeper programs have been offered since 2004. In addition, the DRLPS received the 2005 Governor's Award for excellence in historic preservation, and the Superior Award in 2006 from the Historical Society of Michigan. The DeTour Reef Light is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


For more information and tickets for this event, please contact Co-Chairpersons Sandy Wytiaz (906-297-6801), or Jeri-Baron Feltner (313-268-6846) at, or go to to print out a DRLPS 10th Anniversary Celebration reservation form. Early reservations are encouraged as seating is limited.

Along with the 10th anniversary celebration, other exciting DRLPS events include lighthouse keeper weekends and tour programs, the 11th annual Father’s Day Cruise up the historic St. Mary’s River June 15, the 9th annual Evening Under the Stars lighthouse benefit dinner at Bayside Dining on Drummond Island July 12, and the first DeTour Reef Light photo contest. To learn more about the organization and the lighthouse, please visit, email, call 906-493-6609 or write to DRLPS, PO Box 307, Drummond Island, MI 49726.


Volunteer at Au Sable Lighthouse!

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore seeks individuals or a couple to live and work at the Au Sable Light Station, summer of 2008.

Here are the details:

LOCATION: Au Sable is located about 12 miles west of Grand Marais, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The general public is required to walk in to Au Sable. Volunteers, how­ever are permitted to drive in. This is an isolated location.

A BIT OF HISTORY: Au Sable was constructed in 1874. Significant construction occurred and improvements were made in 1909-1910 when the station expanded from a one family operation to a three family opera­tion. The third order Fresnel lens is in the tower, but a USCG solar powered beacon now assists mariners. The station is remarkably complete with a boathouse, fog signal building, and several outbuild­ings. The Lakeshore continues to restore the station. Projects this year include restoration of two historic privies and replastering portions of the Assistant Keeper’s Quarters.

DUTIES: Volunteers will staff the new maritime museum that will open this summer (building at left above). VIP’s will also assist with lighthouse tours provided by Park Ranger and a Student Conservation Association person and answer questions and facilitate sales at a small bookstore outlet. Tours run Wednesday - Sunday from approximately Noon - 5:30.

TOUR OF DUTY: The Lakeshore hopes to enlist volunteers for a minimum of one month. Longer commitments may be available depending on applicants. The tour season runs from July 1 through Labor Day.

HOUSING: Volunteers are lodged in a second floor apartment in the head keepers quarters. There is a small living room, bed­room, kitchen, and bath. Appliances include an LP refrigerator and stove, and electric lights.

REIMBURSEMENT: Volunteers may apply for $7 a day for lunch. Housing is provided free of charge. Uniforms and training are provided.

If you have questions regarding this opportunity, call:Pam Baker, Volunteer Coordinator or Gregg Bruff, Heritage Education Program Manager Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore 906-387-3700 or 906-387-2607 x 208



The Michigan Lighthouse Alliance, an affiliation of Michigan lighthouse stewards and stakeholders, will be holding a conference on lighthouse preservation, June 11-13, 2008. Conference sessions 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. 

Speakers will 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 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 e-mail at


"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 and old!

Michigan Women’s Historical Center & Hall of Fame

213 W. Main St., Lansing

Phone: 517-484-1880

If any lighthouse group has any special promotional events coming up please e-mail us and we will post them here.

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Revised: 06/15/11.