Relighting the South Manitou Island Lighthouse

June 21, 2008

South Manitou Light

South Manitou Light, photo by dhoop.

Most nights I can see the red pulse of the North Manitou Shoal Light far out on the Manitou Passage (that stretch of Lake Michigan off the western shore of the Leelanau Peninsula).

Right now, a group of nonprofit & government organizations, businesses, historic engineers and private individuals are working to add another light to the passage. The effort is called “Relight the Light” and is funded in part by the National Park Centennial Initiative:

Lighting the South Manitou Island Lighthouse is a joint effort with three partners: Manitou Islands Memorial Society, Manitou Island Transit, and Electro-Optics Technology, Incorporated. The project will include purchasing and installing a replica third-order Fresnel lens, illuminating the lens with a low-wattage bulb using solar power as the energy source, and restoring the lantern room and stairwell.

As with many public projects these days, there’s a match component and organizers are seeking to raise funds to complete work currently underway on the lens by Artworks Florida.

For more information about the project and to view photos of the construction of the lens, visit South Manitou Island Lighthouse: Re-light the Light.

The South Manitou Island Lighthouse page from the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has more about the light and its history and (as always) Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light has a lot more. You can also see photos of the light and floorplans from the Library of Congress and here’s a South Manitou Island Light slideshow!

(lighthouse buffs might note a similarity between this tower and the tower of the Au Sable Point light)

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