Mission Point Lighthouse has a big birthday this year. The iconic lighthouse on the north end of the Old Mission Peninsula turned 150 years old on Sept. 10, 2020. The historic light was first lit on Sept. 10, 1870.
I must say, it doesn’t look a day over 149. In fact, our favorite lighthouse looks fabulous, thanks to lots of hard-working volunteers.
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Lighthouse Manager Ginger Schultz had big plans for the birthday celebration, including an event on National Lighthouse Day (August 7) and maybe even a float in the National Cherry Festival. But as with everything else this year, things didn’t go quite as planned. Both National Lighthouse Day and the Cherry Festival didn’t have their usual events this year due to the Covid-19 virus.
But much-needed upgrades and projects for Mission Point Lighthouse continued on, thanks to a team that consisted of Friends of the Lighthouse (who donated funds for shutters upon the group’s dissolution), Peninsula Township, the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society, and other volunteers who helped to raise funds and research the historical accuracy of the work completed.
One of those projects was to install new shutters that are representative of the original shutters that date back to the 1800s (which have been missing for the past 90 years). The new shutters – 15 sets in total – are solid raised-panel style, with the panels forming an upside-down cross.
Some of the other projects taking place at Mission Point Lighthouse include:
- Upgrading the Veterans Memorial (the old posts were replaced with boulders donated by Township Board Trustee Isaiah Wunsch and installed by Nate McManus of Oliver & Company)
- Installing a new white fence around the lighthouse
- Updating the kitchen in the keeper’s quarters
- Creating new museum displays, including a display for the donated Metropolis deadeye (a circular wood block with a groove around the circumference that holds a ship rope singly or in pairs to tighten a sail)
- Installing two windows and a door to return the south and west sides of the lighthouse to historic integrity
- Installing a handicapped accessible ramp, door and displays in the small building next to the lighthouse
- Possibly building a small replica boathouse on the beach
There’s a donation box on the bay side of the lighthouse where donations are gladly accepted. You may also call Peninsula Township for more info, (231) 223- 7322. Read more about the lighthouse here, and take a look at a few more photos of the new shutters.
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