There are some magnificent Great Lakes Lighthouses near and around the Straits of Mackinac. There are several organizations that care deeply about the historic significance of lighthouses in the Straits of Mackinac. One such group is the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA). It is one of the oldest and most active lighthouse preservation groups in the U.S. Founded by retired lighthouse keepers and their families it is a growing and much needed not for profit.
After incorporating in 1983 the group realized that the first agenda was to find a lighthouse to restore and then to teach others in "the preservation of lighthouses, the stories of those who kept them, and developing a new generation of preservationists" to make their mission statement a reality.
The GLLKA found the perfect lighthouse to restore and use as an educational tool for young and old volunteers when they discovered the abandoned 1873 St. Helena Island lighthouse.
It is ten miles west of Mackinac Island and lies two miles offshore from Gros Cap in Lake Michigan. The lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Over many years of hardwork through volunteers the entire complex has been beautifully restored.
To read more about
the St. Helena Lighthouse click here.
It took quite a few years to choose Old Mackinac Point to be the much needed lighthouse for the Straits of Mackinac. After much debate and obstacles Congress appropriated $20,000 in 1890 to build the light station at the Point.
The property was acquired by Mackinac State Historic Parks in 1960 and the lighthouse has been restored to its beautiful condition and has become a popular museum in Mackinaw City.
To learn more about the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City click here.
One lighthouse that recently has been given new life and new hope is the Round Island Lighthouse just off of Mackinac Island busy port and Round Island. On August 21, 2010 the Round Island Preservation Society and the Hiawatha National Forest established an active preservation society to care and preserve the much beloved landmark.
To learn more about this lighthouse and many other Great Lakes Lighthouses visit the GLLKA (Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association) Gift Shop and office in Mackinaw City at 707 N. Huron Avenue. It's just across the street from the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse which is open to the public for tours.
Insider Tip: If you are interested in staying overnight at one of the Great Lakes Lighthouses click here. It sounds like great fun and quite an adventure! Kathy and her husband are planning to stay at Whitefish Point Lighthouse on Lake Superior sometime soon so stay tuned for their review!
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