Breaking News
More () »

2 West Michigan lighthouses receive $100K in preservation grants

The grants were entirely funded through the sale of special "Save Our Lights" license plates, which are available at the Secretary of State.
Credit: Provided | Mike Borstler
Lighthouses in Grand Haven and Ludington will receive part of a $100,000 preservation grant.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — Lighthouses in Ludington and Grand Haven will receive part of $100,000 in grants to aid preservation efforts from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office.

The grants, which are from the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP), were entirely funded through the sale of special "Save Our Lights" license plates. 

The grants will be used to continue preservation on historic lighthouses in West Michigan.

“Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state, and these beacons stand tall as icons of our shoreline communities. As a result of enduring decades of harsh weather, our lighthouses require constant maintenance and attention,” said Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Officer Mark A. Rodman in a release. “Our lighthouse preservation grants help repair and restore these beacons, so they can connect us with our maritime heritage for years to come.”  

Credit: Provided
The preservation grants were funded by the sale of special Save Our Lights license plates.

Applicants for the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program must have at least 50% of the grant amount in matching funds.

In Grand Haven, nearly $136,000 will go to renovating the South Pier entrance and Inner Lights. With $60,000 from the grant, an additional $76,409 will be added. The funding will repair the exterior wall and deck, restore the exterior concrete stairs and curb, install new metal flashing and repainting.

“The South Pier Lights in Grand Haven continue their transformation to among the most well-preserved and accessible lights on the Great Lakes. The Grand Haven Lighthouse Conservancy continues its partnership work of raising funds and awareness to make sure these treasures are the best they can be," said Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis. "The grant from the MLAP will supplement funds raised locally and are the next step in a multi-year approach to complete preservation and, soon, opening the lights regularly to public enjoyment.”

Credit: Provided | Mike Borstler

Further along the lakeshore, the Big Sable Point Light Station in Ludington will use $60,000 in grants to complete a historic structures report. $40,000 came from the grant and $20,000 was added to the funding. The historic structures report would give officials more information about the building to plan preservation efforts.

We are looking forward to working with the State Historic Preservation Office and DNR Parks and Recreation to get this done,” said Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association Executive Director Peter Manting. “It is exciting to be able to share this with our membership as a majority of our members purchase the lighthouse license plate and they will be thrilled to know that their funds are being granted this year to the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association.”

Credit: Provided
The grant will be used to complete a historic structures report for the Big Sable Point Light Station in Ludington.

With more lighthouses than any other state in the U.S., the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program was established in 2000 to aid the preservation of the historic lighthouses. The program aims to keep lighthouses open as tourist and educational destinations.

“Michigan’s iconic lighthouses offer something for every traveler – from lighthouse enthusiasts, to history buffs, to curious tourists looking to get out there and experience one of Pure Michigan’s many gems,” said Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan.

The Save Our Lights license plates are available at the Secretary of State. More information on the plates can be found here. To learn more about the State Historic Preservation Office, click here.

“Thanks to those residents 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,” Rodman said.

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Before You Leave, Check This Out