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Updates coming to Mission Point Lighthouse

Mission Point Lighthouse in Peninsula Township./
(Photo: Tyler Thompson/IPR News)
Mission Point Lighthouse in Peninsula Township. (Photo: Tyler Thompson/IPR News)

More parking, new boardwalks, plus beach stairs and a telescope are among improvements planned for the Mission Point Lighthouse, north of Traverse City.

Ginger Schultz manages the 154-year-old lighthouse. She’s particularly eager to build a replica of a historic boathouse on the beach.

“We have photos of it. It was just like a little shed," Schultz said. "Then maybe have a plaque on what the boathouse was used for and things like that, maybe try to get some actual statistics of life saving that was done here, when there were shipwrecks out on the water."

View from the lantern room at the Mission Point Lighthouse. (Photo: Tyler Thompson/IPR News)
(Photo: Tyler Thompson/IPR News)
View from the lantern room at the Mission Point Lighthouse. (Photo: Tyler Thompson/IPR News)

Shultz said they also plan to get a headstone for Sarah Lane, the only female lighthouse keeper during its operating years.

“She and her husband were buried downstate in Monroe, Michigan," she said. "She has an unmarked grave and we think that’s kind of rotten cause that’s just what they did in 1900."

Lane and her husband John were keepers for 25 years.

Sarah Lane did most of the work while her husband was ill and watched the lighthouse for two more years after he died.

Other long term projects include building a barn modeled after the same one that John Lane died in. The barn would include displays, videos and be accessible. The lighthouse itself is not, due to its age.

Schultz will also advocate for more local help at the lighthouse this summer.

The public can get more details on the planned updates and improvements, during a meeting of the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4, at Peninsula Community Library.

(Photo: Tyler Thompson/IPR News)
(Photo: Tyler Thompson/IPR News)

Tyler Thompson is a reporter at Interlochen Public Radio.