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Three northern Michigan lighthouses receive grant money for rehabilitation projects

The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society will hire a contractor to address water infiltration issues by rehabilitating the pier deck, sidewalk lights and casement windows. Photo Courtesy: Bryan Lijewski, State Historic Preservation Office

NORTHERN MICHIGAN (WPBN/WGTU) -- Three historic Michigan lighthouses will be able to do some renovations thanks to a $112,800 grant from the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program.

The 2018 MLAP recipients are the Keweenaw Waterway Lighthouse Conservancy, Inc in Chassell, the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society on Drummond Island and the Thunder Bay Island Preservation Society in Alpena.

“The lighthouses that dot Michigan’s vast coastlines and stand tall offshore are vulnerable to the elements and require upkeep,” said Michigan State Housing Development Authority Executive Director Earl Poleski. “The State Historic Preservation Office’s MLAP grants help lighthouse stewards protect and preserve these beacons for all of us.”

Funding for the program comes from the sale of specialty Save Our Lights license plates, which can be purchased at any Secretary of State branch office.

As of February 8, the SHPO has awarded more than $2.1 million to help rehabilitate and preserve lighthouses for tourists and local residents alike to explore and enjoy.

Awardees are chosen annually through a competitive application process and are required to contribute 50 percent of the grant amount as matching funds.

The Keweenaw Waterway Conservancy was awarded $7,500 that will go towards hiring a consultant to produce a Condition Assessment Report for the lower entrance light to guide future rehabilitation.

The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society was awarded $60,000, which they will use to hire a contractor to address water infiltration issues by rehabilitating the pier deck, sidewalk lights and casement windows.

The Thunder Bay Island Preservation Society was also awarded $60,000, which will be used to hire a contractor to replace the roof at the Thunder Bay Island Fog Signal Building with a historically correct metal shingle roof.

“Because of the generosity of people who pay a little extra for a lighthouse license plate, we are able to award grants that help preserve these iconic Michigan structures for the long term,” Poleski said.

For more information on the Save Our Lights campaign, click here.


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