Group Works to Protect Point Betsie Lighthouse in Benzie Co.

High water levels have been a problem for the past year. Now, along with strong winter waves it’s causing more problems at a historic northern Michigan lighthouse.

An effort is underway in Benzie County to protect and preserve the Point Betsie Lighthouse.

The group Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse are in the middle of a million dollar fundraising effort to protect the beloved lighthouse and the property that surrounds it.

“Urgency is at hand. We need to get this done,” said Friends of Point Bestie Lighthouse Board President, Dick Taylor.

The Point Betsie lighthouse sits five miles north of Frankfort. It also sits on an 80-year-old foundation. It’s beloved by many, but over the years one enemy has been Mother Nature.

“The seawall and the system was built in 1944 so that’s a lot of winters particularly of damage and it’s cumulative,” said Taylor.

Now, cracks in the cement slab, along with desire for more beach access, a boardwalk, and better parking for visitors has led to the million dollar campaign.

“As the higher water sloshes more water up on the apron of the seawall it can dig out behind it and so it’s worse than it has been and we need to get it addressed before it gets past where we can’t really do the repair project that we’ve been talking about and we have to start from scratch,” said Taylor.

The lighthouse is not only a local landmark but also a community treasure.

“The Point Betsie Lighthouse is so important to the community of Frankfort. Just the history that it has and the number of people to travel to visit it. We want to do whatever we can to preserve it,” said Stormcloud Brewing Company Co-Owner, Rick Schmitt.

Those visitors mean a boost to the Frankfort economy throughout the year.

“It brings people year-round which is an important amenity here. There are groups to travel to see light houses and so it’s exciting to see where they come from and the restoration that’s happened it’s just really some cool stuff,” said Schmitt.

If you’d like to support the effort or learn more you can click here.