It has come to my attention that many Peninsula Township residents don’t know much about our quaint – but very busy – Mission Point Lighthouse, established in 1870. As the part-time Lighthouse Manager, I have the pleasure of compiling the demographic numbers for the lighthouse, and people from all over the globe stopped by for a visit last year.
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Here are the numbers for folks who stopped by the lighthouse in 2016 and signed the guest book (May through October, plus weekends in November):
- A total of 35,765 visitors signed the book.
- 1233 visitors traveled here from foreign countries.
- 64 foreign countries were represented, and the top six in order are: Canada, Germany England, China and Brazil (tied), Mexico, and Australia.
- The top eight states represented in the U.S. are: Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, California, Wisconsin and Texas.
Lighthouse Keepers, who are needed year-round, travel from all over the country to stay at the lighthouse and run the gift shop. The keepers are hardworking retirees or vacationers seeking a fun experience. Our community is blessed that so many people appreciate the lighthouse property and wish to help preserve its history.
Keepers pay a fee to stay and work at the lighthouse. We’re currently accepting applications for the Keeper Program for 2017 and 2018. For more info and to apply, click here.
We charge visitors a small fee to view the second floor museum and climb up the tower steps; however, Peninsula Township residents DO NOT have to pay the museum fee. You’re welcome to visit the museum and take the steps to the tower any time during open hours.
How can YOU help maintain and preserve this Old Mission Peninsula treasure? Local volunteers are always needed, especially during the busy summer months, to fill in during the lighthouse keepers’ breaks, answer questions, and direct visitors inside. Even if you can only volunteer for two hours a month, it’s greatly appreciated.
During the winter months, there’s always work to be done, including maintaining the lighthouse floors, painting, cleaning, repairs and more. Volunteers are much appreciated year-round.
To volunteer, email me at [email protected] or call (231) 645-0759.
To become a Mission Point Lighthouse Friend, click here. Monetary donations to the non-profit Mission Point Lighthouse Friends 501(c)(3) may be mailed to Mission Point Lighthouse Friends, 14548 Bluff Rd Traverse City, MI 49686.
Mission Point Lighthouse is located at the end of M37 (20500 Center Road) on the Old Mission Peninsula. It’s open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., May through October, and 12 noon to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday in November. The park, trails and beach are open daily until 10 p.m. all year.
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb