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7th Annual

Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival

Alpena, MI.

October 10-13, 2002

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 989-595-3600 for more information

Most events begin or take place at the Alpena Civic 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


The Cheboygan Tribune seems to keep up to date on lighthouse related activities. Please view their web site home page. They have a nice online paper.

USCG ship may become museum

Cheboygan could get first shot at keeping decommissioned icebreaker Mackinaw


Tribune Staff Writer

CHEBOYGAN -- For 58 years, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw has called Cheboygan "home."But she is scheduled for decommissioning shortly after a new icebreaker is brought to Cheboygan in 2005.The question is, does Cheboygan want to keep the old ship, too.

U.S Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Menominee, has put that question to the city of Cheboygan, as the Mackinaw's historic home port, said Dick Moehl of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.

Stupak wanted to give Cheboygan the first shot at having the Mackinaw as a museum ship, he said."There are other people around America interested," Moehl said. "There are other people looking at this ... as a possibility, not knowing what all the financial things and environmental things might be."

Among those other communities are Mackinaw City and Duluth, said Mayor James Muschell.More research is needed to determine just what would be involved in keeping the ship, said City Manager Scott McNeil."Concerns that I have with regards to the city taking it over is one, maintenance and upkeep and two, where do we put it," he said. "This issue of where to put it is a concern because our riverfront is pretty important right now and I don't know if we want to park it at the Major City Park or take up any more of our riverfront," McNeil said.

The new ship will be docked at the Coast Guard moorings the Mackinaw now occupies, he said.The Mackinaw is 300 feet long and has a 19-foot draft, said Muschell."For location of that for 300 feet, we've gotta have a bulkhead or steel sheet (piling) in order to moor it," he said.Concerns about dealing with the massive engines and other mechanical systems of the ship were expressed by Councilman Jerry Boardman, who served aboard the Mackinaw for two years."Even if the city would go into partnership with other organizations, it would be cost prohibitive to maintain the cutter as a museum ship," he said.

Although the Coast Guard would probably remove the 550,000 gallons of fuel the ship once held, there would be fuel oil and lubricating oil in the piping and other systems, Boardman said. Over time, the mechanical systems would deteriorate, and leaking would result, he said. "The maintenance of a ship, even one on fresh water, is a continual process involving a lot of people whose sole job is to scrape and (paint) the ship," said Boardman.

But other government owned vessels have been moth-balled before, and more needs to be learned about it, said Councilman Robert Spinella. Potential benefits need to be explored."I also think that we should let the public have some input, seeing as how that ship's been here for a long time," said Councilman Vaughn Temple. "We keep saying that this is a tourist town," he said. "We should look into something that's going to draw tourists."

In Duluth, the moth-balled William Irvin makes $160,000 a year in profit, said Moehl."Don't close your eyes to it," he said.Whether or not funds will be available for the decommissioned Mackinaw is being explored by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, Moehl said."Time is going to be an enemy to you, because sometime this summer, they're going to start spending the money for some type of structure," he said.

In 2004, the Mackinaw will be taken to a temporary site while the Cheboygan port is modified for the new ship, said Moehl.Several years ago, $118 million was budgeted for a new cutter. "The idea is it's supposed to be able to completely replace the Mackinaw in that it's supposed to be just as wide, be able to break just as much ice," Chief Adam Wine of the U.S. Coast Guard said at the time.

However, it would not be the same size as the Mackinaw and would have a much smaller crew, he said."There's a lot newer technology out there that can allow the ship to run more efficiently," said Wine.Buoy tending, search and rescue, and deploying a vessel for cleanup in the event of an oil spill will be among the new ship's capabilities, he said. "Right now, the Mackinaw just breaks ice," Wine said. "That's it's main purpose in life." A city council motion to decline the possibility of continuing as home port for the old Mackinaw was withdrawn pending further investigation.


Coast Guard gives lighthouse facelift


Tribune Staff Writer

The Fourteen Foot Shoal Lighthouse is getting a fresh coat of paint and some other special care this week, thanks to the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw.

A group of between five and seven crew members from the ship have been doing daily maintenance work since Monday. They are sent out each morning to power-wash, paint and otherwise clean the lighthouse, and return to the ship in late afternoon.

"It's a nice break from the boat (the Mackinaw), actually," said U.S. Coast Guard Bosun Mate Brent Smakal, as he paused from painting Wednesday.

The lighthouse, built in 1930, marks a potentially hazardous shoal at the juncture between the entrance to the Cheboygan River to the south and the Straits of Mackinac to the west. When mariners realized there was only a shallow fourteen feet of water above a hard gravel bottom in that spot, they knew that something more permanent than a buoy was needed, according to the Web site.

The building of the lighthouse began directly after the Poe Reef Lighthouse, located nearby to the northeast, was constructed. It started with construction of a wooden crib at the shore station on the Cheboygan Pier, which was eventually eased into the water and towed to the shoal.

Upon arrival at the shoal, the crib was sunk to a leveled-off portion of the bottom by filling its empty pockets with rocks and gravel, according to the Web site.

The timber foundation served as a core, around which wooden forms were constructed and filled with concrete. The station today stands over 50 feet above the water, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials.

When the Fourteen Foot Shoal Lighthouse was constructed, the old Cheboygan Light Station was no longer needed and was decommissioned as a result.

A white occulting light is positioned in the top of the lighthouse tower, and a fog horn blasts at regular intervals when triggered. The lighthouse was never manned, because it was operated by remote control from Poe Reef.

The lighthouse is approximately three nautical miles north of Cheboygan, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

The crew of the Mackinaw will continue to maintain the structure each year, they said.


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.



UPDATE FROM DETOUR REEF LIGHT PRESERVATION SOCIETY submitted by Jeri Baron Feltner, Secretary, DeTour Reef Light

Preservation Society

The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society has chosen U.P. Engineers & Architects from Marquette, Michigan, to begin the restoration process on the lighthouse. Grants of nearly one million dollars awarded to the Society will be used toward the restoration program which is slated to begin in the spring as soon as the ice melts and take two to three years to complete.

The goal of the Society is to take visitors safely to the offshore lighthouse for narrated tours. Located in Northern Lake Huron in Michigan's Upper Peninsula at the mouth of the St. Mary's River in DeTour Passage, the DeTour Reef Light was built in 1931. It replaced the onshore lighthouse (DeTour Point Light) which was established in 1847 at this busy ship commerce lane connecting Lake Huron with Lake Superior.

The DRLPS will be having two fun fundraisers which include a Father's Day Cruise to the DeTour Reef Light, Martin Reef Light, Round Island Light, and Pipe Island Light on Sunday, June 16, 2002, departing from DeTour Village, Michigan, and an Elegant Evening Under the Stars dinner at Bayside on Drummond Island, Michigan, on Saturday, July 6, 2002. In addition, their annual membership meeting open to the public will be held on Saturday, June 15 in DeTour Village. Please call 906-493-6711 for further information about these events, or request information from DRLPS, PO Box 519, DeTour Village MI 49725, <>.



The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Mid-Atlantic Region announces the opening of its new exhibit, Beacons on the Shore: Lighthouses of the Mid-Atlantic Region.

The exhibit focuses on several themes including the architectural evolution, technological development, and maintenance of lighthouses. Visitors will take a symbolic voyage along the eastern seaboard of the United States from Cape Fear in North Carolina to Long Beach Island in New Jersey with visits to the Outer Banks, Cape Henry, the James, Potomac and Delaware Rivers, the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, and the Delmarva Peninsula.

The exhibit features architectural drawings and documents from the records of NARA, Mid-Atlantic Region; vintage photographs from the Still Pictures Branch of NARA; and modern-day photographs, lighthouse models, and artifacts donated by private citizens.

The exhibit will be open to the public January 28, 2002 through January 11, 2003. The National Archives  exhibit gallery is located in the Robert N.C. Nix Federal Building on Chestnut Street between 9th and 10th Streets in Philadelphia. The hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00AM-5:00PM, and the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, 8:00AM-4:00PM. Admission is free.For more information please contact Matthew DiBiase at 215-597-5694. 



submitted by Linda M. Nenn, Project co-chair and construction coordinator

The restoration of Port Washington's 1860 Light Station, which began in October 2000, continues as funding permits. We're halfway to our $165,000 goal with much to accomplish before the scheduled Sunday, June 16, 2002 dedication. Volunteers and in-kind donations have kept costs to a minimum. For those not familiar with the Project, it has a unique partner. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, through its Ministry of Culture, Sites and Monuments Division, is fabricating a historically accurate tower and lantern to be placed atop our light station. Lest lighthouse restorers around the country think they can approach our benefactors, this is a one time gift. It is being done to honor those Luxembourg immigrants that settled in this area of Wisconsin in the late 1840s - early 1850s. It also will serve as a tribute to the American Forces that liberated Luxembourg during WWII. A chance visit to our Light Station Museum, by a Luxembourg official, culminated in the offer of this wonderful gift and put the Port Washington Historical Society in the unenviable position of having to raise a great deal of money in a very short time.

The Port Washington Light Station was gutted in 1934 and rebuilt as a two family dwelling for the keeper and assistant keeper who would maintain the new pierhead light completed in 1935. The original tower and lantern were removed, the light having been decommissioned in 1903. The tower and interior framing wood were reused throughout the remodeled structure. The fate of the lantern is unknown. The extent of the 1934 demolition may make this restoration the most ambitious project currently occurring on the Great Lakes.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999 and ownership transferred to the city of Port Washington in 2000, the Light Station remains under the watchful eye of the National Park Service. Preservation/restoration plans had to meet NPS and Wisconsin Historical Society standards. Throughout this project, besides raising funds and finding volunteers, the greatest challenge has been to balance historic building codes with current codes. Accomplishments so far include exterior cleaning of the cream city brick facade. Cost, $24,000. This task proved much harder than anticipated as at some time in the Station's past, before USCG white covered the brick, a cement paint was applied. The 1902 "Instructions to Light-House Keepers" describes this coating as, "cement washing." It may have "washed" on, but it certainly didn't wash off. The bricks had to be chemically stripped, often one brick at a time.  The original roof line has been rebuilt. In 1934 the gables and eaves were chopped off. Pieces of original exterior moldings and tongue and groove soffit boards were found in the 1934 walls and exactly remilled. $18,000.  A handful of volunteers have rebuilt the interior walls according to 1860 blueprints. Drywall has taken the place of lath and plaster construction, but will bear a plaster coat to approximate the 1860 look and texture. 1860 framing was all mortise and tendon. The 1934 remodel destroyed all but 5 pieces of the original studs and headers. These have been preserved in place.

Electrical service and plumbing/heating have been upgraded to code. The electrical work has been donated, the plumbing/heating not. $15,000 for labor. Materials donated.  In 1934 new entrances and stairways were added to the Light Station. Rather than raze this part of the structure, it is being integrated into the restoration. Many light stations on the Great Lakes went through similar transformations but their lanterns, stairs and ladders remained intact, exempting them from current building codes. The Port Washington Project does not have that luxury.

The new tower and nine sided lantern will be shipped from Luxembourg in late March, early April. The framing of the tower will be connected to the 8" x 8" beams that were severed in 1934. The platform will be lifted into place and finally, the cast iron lantern with its 6 panes of glass and 3 blacked out panels. Lampist James Woodward, of Cleveland provided his services as a paid consultant, drawing the tower structure. Jeff Shooks of Michigan generously shared his fourth order lantern plans. The finishing work entails reroofing the light station with red metal shingles. The original plans called for "tin shield pattern shingles." Old roofing nails yielded small pieces of red tin. The same pattern will be used, now made of galvanized steel. The same shingle is on the Grand Traverse Light Station and Whitefish Point on Lake Superior. The $36,000 for this has yet to be raised.

Volunteers are needed to finish and paint the exterior wood siding, rebuild the interior stairs and ladders, lay the newly milled 5/4 pine flooring, and paint and redecorate the interior of the Light Station.  The 1 p.m. dedication ceremony will include dignitaries from Luxembourg and Wisconsin. A Luxembourg band will provide the music. A dinner will follow, details yet to be finalized. Come join in the festivities and celebrate the restoration of a symbol of our maritime history.Inquiries may be directed to the website <> or <>



Roger Lea, Consultant Engineer, United Kingdom, reports that "currently we are arranging an International meeting of USLS with Lighthouses of Australian and the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) Preservation Committee in Sydney,12th March 2002.  Anyone in the Sydney area on that date might like to contact me and we can email an Invitation with details of the Event and Dinner."  Roger can be reached at <>.



Tim Harrison, American Lighthouse Foundation, recommends we mark our calendars now for the History Channel Special "Saving History-Lighthouses" to air at 8 p.m. EST on April 19, 2002.  There will be a number of lighthouses such as St.Helena in Michigan featured and it will include segments on American Lighthouse Foundation lighthouses of Portsmouth Harbor Light, NH, Little River Light, Maine, Rockland Breakwater Light, Maine, plus segments on the Shore Village Museum and the history-making relighting ceremony at Little River Lighthouse.



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 <>.



August 1-2-3-4,  2002
New Bedford, MA
Hampton Inn Westport
53 Old Bedford Road
Westport, MA 02790
1-508-675-0075 Fax
Must mention LSA for reduced rate. Reservations must be made by 1 July

Marty Krzywicki
940 Albemarle St.
St Paul, MN  55117
Email:   On-Line

Registration $60 covers:
General Membership Meeting (and election), Lunch, Banquet, Lightship Sailors hat and patch, Lightship Sailors Memorial Ceremonial hat (headgear for the Memorial dedication ceremony 4 August)  Admission to the slide show, and lots of free stuff. Group photography scheduled, bring camera.

Make check to:
Lightship Sailors Reunion
Send to;
Norman LeMoine, Treasurer
333 So. Patrick Dr #30
Satellite Beach, FL  32937



6th Annual

Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival

Alpena, MI.

October 11-14, 2001

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 989-595-3600 for more information

(area code was changed from 517, please take note)

Most events begin or take place at the Alpena Civic 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.


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

Copyright 2001-2005 Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy. All rights reserved.
Revised: 01/13/05.