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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Three Historic Lighthouses Awarded $112,800 in State Preservation Grants

Media Contact: Misty Elliott
517-335-9847 |

February 7, 2018

LANSING, MICH. – Three historic lighthouses will receive Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) grants for rehabilitation projects or assessment for future improvements.

“The lighthouses that dot Michigan’s vast coastlines and stand tall offshore are vulnerable to the elements and require upkeep,” said MSHDA 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 this program comes from the sale of specialty Save Our Lights license plates that can be purchased at any Secretary of State branch office. To date, SHPO has awarded more than $2.1 million to help rehabilitate and preserve lighthouses for tourists and local residents alike to explore and enjoy.

“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.

Awardees are chosen annually through a competitive application process. Grant recipients are required to contribute 50 percent of the grant amount as matching funds. The 2018 MLAP grant recipients are:

Keweenaw Waterway Lighthouse Conservancy, Inc., Chassell, MI
Award Amount: $7,500
Use of Funds: The Keweenaw Waterway Lighthouse Conservancy, Inc. will hire a consultant to produce a Condition Assessment Report (CAR) for the Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Light to guide future rehabilitation.

DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society, Drummond Island, MI
Award Amount: $60,000
Use of Funds:  The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society will hire a contractor(s) to address water infiltration issues by rehabilitating the pier deck, sidewalk lights and casement windows.

Thunder Bay Island Preservation Society, Alpena, MI
Award Amount:  $45,300
Use of Funds: The Thunder Bay Island Preservation Society will hire a contractor(s) to replace the roof at the Thunder Bay Island Fog Signal Building with a historically correct metal shingle roof.

SHPO’s Historic Lighthouses of Michigan maps, auto decals and other materials are available at welcome centers throughout the state. More information about the program, including electronic versions of the lighthouse map, posters and more is available at

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*

*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is financed in part by a grant from the National Park Service, Department of Interior. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on its federally funded assistance programs.  If you believe you've been discriminated against please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, National Park Service, 1849 C. St. NW, Washington DC 20240.