Restoring History at the North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse

A group dedicated to preserving the history of the North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse – just wrapped up a portion of their restoration project. We learned more about the North Manitou Light Keepers, and their wonderful mission.

“You’re a little tiny dot out in the middle of Lake Michigan – such a unique place to be”. That dot grows as you creep up on the North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse, affectionately called “The Crib” by Lighthousethe locals. “It’s built on a kind of concrete base – built into the lake floor started as a wood box filled with sediment, rocks, boulders, concrete,” says Board President, Dan Oginsky. “The nature of the design is called the crib”.

“The Crib” officially went into service on May 1, 1935, and has served as a lighthouse and resting spot for the Coastguard up until 1980. Since then, this historical building has been deteriorating and ended up for auction in 2016.

After winning a bidding war, the North Manitou Lightkeepers started the renovation.

“We are 9-miles from the closes marina and you can imagine the logistics of painting the exterior of this,” explained one of the founding members, Dave McWilliam.  “The lighthouse is 100 feet in the air to the tip, and there were EPA regulations that had to be complied with in order to paint the lighthouse”.

They’ve made it about 500-thousand dollars into what will be a 2-million dollar project. The nonprofit hopes to restore the lighthouse for the people and community – so they can experience this too.

For more information about North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse renovation, and the North Manitou Light Keepers, click here.

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