Presque Isle Township Lighthouses Restoration Fund logo

Lighthouses Restoration Fund

Our historic lighthouses symbolize our rich maritime history and attract visitors from around the country. Owned and operated by the Township, these historic beacons have weathered many winters, but they also require significant resources to keep them standing proud.

In 2018, Presque Isle Township Museum Society (PITMS) and Presque Isle Township established the Presque Isle Township Lighthouses Restoration Fund to support the care and preservation of our Old and New Lighthouses and related buildings. The fund, administered by the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan (CFNEM), supports the Township’s efforts to restore the Old and New Lighthouses and related buildings.

Each fall, we welcome the giving season by participating in GivingTuesday, an annual global day of giving when people join together to do good for their community. In 2021, $12,774 was added to the Lighthouses Restoration Fund! We are grateful to all who contributed. Your gifts helped fund the recent repairs to the New Lighthouse Tower.

Proceeds from the 2022 GivingTuesday campaign (November 29) will help fund the critical repairs to the dormer windows and front porch and steps of the 1905 Keeper’s House. Maintaining this historic home helps the Museum Society tell the story of the Presque Isle Lighthouses and the keepers who watched over them.

Lighthouse Restoration Fund donations are accepted throughout the year, not just on GivingTuesday. We encourage you to make a donation to the Lighthouses Restoration Fund by going to Presque Isle Township Lighthouses Restoration Fund. or mailing your check to PITMS, PO Box 208, Presque Isle, MI 49777

Crane with worker doing repairs on New Presque Isle Lighthouse

Repairs to the New Lighthouse

For several years, visitors to the New Lighthouse (1870) noticed the growing vertical cracks extending from the corners of the tower windows. The Presque Isle Township administration, which owns and takes great care to maintain the lighthouses, commissioned an engineering firm with experience in historical buildings, Sanders & Czapski Associates of Marquette, to examine the lighthouse tower.

The firm found no evidence of damage to the inner wall or the structural integrity of the tower. But excess moisture had caused the bricks to crack. Late this summer, the Township hired Meridian Restoration of Alpena to bring in a 125-foot-high lift, repair the lintels above and below the tower windows, replace the cracked bricks, and repaint the affected area. This essential work went well as the cracked bricks were replaced in advance of winter to prevent future damage. According to Matt Bedard, Township Facilities and Project Manager, although the interior and exterior walls of the 1870 tower will continue to be monitored closely, the repair will prevent any further water intrusion that could cause damage to the inner wall or structural integrity.

Funds to repair the 1870 tower were drawn from the Presque Isle Township Lighthouses Restoration Fund at CFNEM, the Lighthouse Gift Shop Committee Fund, and the Township’s Facilities Budget. To reduce costs, bricks that had been retained from the 1988 rebricking of the tower were reused for the recent repair.

Upcoming Needs

Although repairs on the New Lighthouse took priority this season, there are additional facility repairs that need to be addressed. Critical repairs are needed to the 1905 Keeper’s House. The dormer windows on the east side (above the front porch) were damaged during the winter of 2019-20 and must be replaced to protect the historical contents of the museum. The front porch of the house has been deteriorating rapidly (despite numerous attempts to patch and repaint rotting areas) and must be replaced.

1905 Keeper's House and New Presque Isle Lighthouse
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Presque Isle Township Museum Society
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