(WWJ) You may one day be able to tour the North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse near Leland in Lake Michigan.
Four Michigan families bought the lighthouse, known as the crib, for $73,000 at an auction. Now, Dan Oginsky, president of the North Manitou Light Keepers says they’re waiting for final Michigan DEQ approval to get to work on the aging gem.
According to mlive, the two-story lighthouse with a working light and fog horn has “four bedrooms, evidence of modern plumbing and generator-powered electrical service, though the condition of the aging utilities are not known.”
Visible from Glen Haven and anchored 26 feet into the water, it’s a favorite for birds, and is covered in rust and peeling paint. It’s been vacant since 1980.
Beyond the superficial, the light is still an active navigational aid for the U.S. Coast Guard.
Oginsky said they plan to spend up to $2 million dollars to renovate the lighthouse, which was built in 1935.
“It is a challenge, but it is a challenge to do something cool, and do something that is really about trying to bring back to life a piece of Michigan maritime history in Lake Michigan right around Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,” Oginsky said.
Oginsky says they plan on fundraising efforts to help pay for the renovation.
So, why do this?
“We decided we wanted to embark on this mission, to bring that lighthouse back to life and make it available to the public to tour and appreciate,” Oginsky said. “And we just thought it wold be really cool to do that, so that’s the mission we’re on.”
Learn more about the lighthouse’s unique history and fundraising efforts HERE.