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Visit our Gift Shop in Mackinaw City at 707 N. Huron Ave. - Right across the street from Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

Contact:  Tel 231-436-5580    Fax 231-436-5466  Mail  PO Box 219, Mackinaw City, MI 49701  Email

After obtaining a license to restore the light station from the Coast Guard in 1986, GLLKA immediately took the abandoned lighthouse under its wing. With the help of a stalwart group of dedicated volunteers, work began on clearing years of accumulated debris and brush and securing the station for eventual restoration. The lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, and two years later the boys and parents of Boy Scout Troop 4 of Ann Arbor, Michigan began what would become an annual pilgrimage to St. Helena to assist with the restoration. After hearing of the groups' success, numerous other youth groups, Church groups and Girl Scouts began lining-up to assist with the restoration.

Over the ensuing years, the entire lighthouse complex has been lovingly restored, including the installation of a new wood shingle roof, rebuilding of the boat house and assistant keepers dwelling, installation of new lantern and chimney, and the replacement of thousands of bricks in the tower. Perhaps most amazingly, as a result of shallow waters which surround the island, all of the volunteers and materials have to be transferred to the island in small inflatable boats. Over the years, 25 Boy Scouts have successfully undertaken Eagle Scout Service Projects and Girl Scouts have earned 3 Gold and 5 Silver awards for their work on the island.

Lighthouse preservation is not a one-time affair, and it is anything but inexpensive! With work at St. Helena approximately 95% complete, we estimate that the work has already cost close to 1.5 million dollars. The new roof which was installed in the late 1980's is now almost 25 years old, and due to the lighthouse's exposed location, is showing significant signs of deterioration, and will will need to be replaced this year. Bricks on the tower are again showing signs of spalling, and an engineering study needs to be undertaken to identify how best to keep moisture from entering the bricks and masonry in order to minimize this spalling problem.

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