Five Historic Lighthouses to Receive Nearly $120,000 in State Preservation Grants

Misty Elliott
MSHDA Communications | 517-373-1858

April 9, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Five historic Michigan lighthouses will be awarded Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program grants according to a recent announcement made by Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Acting-Executive Director Wayne Workman and State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway.

“Lighthouses are iconic structures in the Great Lake State,” Workman said. “Because of the generosity of people who pay a little extra for a lighthouse license plate, we are able to award grants to preserve these beautiful structures for the long term.”

This grant is funded by the sale of a specialty lighthouse preservation license plate, which Michigan residents can purchase at any Secretary of State branch office. The specialty plate has an image of the red-and-white striped White Shoal Lighthouse set against the blue waters of Lake Michigan to symbolize the need to preserve all 124 of Michigan's lighthouses.

“Michigan’s lighthouses are the gems that dot our state’s beautiful coastline,” said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. “I thank the thousands of Michigan motorists who have chosen to support these historic buildings that tower majestically over our shores.”

Since 2001 the SHPO has awarded more than $1.5 million in grants toward the preservation of lighthouses.

“Lighthouses are located offshore and on the mainland in areas that leave them vulnerable to the elements and deterioration,” Conway said. “Thanks to lighthouse groups and others—many who volunteer their time—there are people who work hard to preserve these unique resources. The Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program enables the SHPO to help lighthouse stewards preserve these beacons for all of us.”

Recipient projects are chosen annually through a competitive application process and are required to contribute 50 percent of the grant amount as matching funds. The 2015 recipients are:

• Charlevoix Historical Society, $12,700 for the Charlevoix South Pier Lighthouse. The society will hire a contractor to repaint exterior red surfaces of the Charlevoix South Pier Lighthouse with red marine-grade paint.

• Crisp Point Lighthouse Historical Society, $25,000 for Crisp Point Lighthouse near Newberry in Luce County. The project includes hiring a contractor to remove paint from the exterior, replace roof flashing, mortar, and brick, and repaint the exterior of the Crisp Point Lighthouse.

• Peninsula Township, $44,732 for the Mission Point Lighthouse near Traverse City. The township will rehabilitate the stone and brick foundations of the Tower/Keeper’s Dwelling and relocate the storage building to its original position east of the Keeper’s Dwelling.  

• Delta County Historical Society Foundation, $14,000 for Sand Point Lighthouse in Escanaba, Delta County. The project includes hiring a contractor to paint the exterior of the Sand Point Lighthouse including all masonry, metal and wooden surfaces.

• Michigan Maritime Museum, $22,000 for the South Haven Pier Light. The project includes rehabilitation of the South Haven Light Keepers Dwelling roof and flashing as well as the replacement of the porch roof framing, deck, and ceiling.

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.

The State Historic Preservation Office is part of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), which 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