Gov. Whitmer grants $106,000 for 2 UP lighthouse rehabilitation initiatives

Rock of Ages Lighthouse
Rock of Ages Lighthouse(Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society Volunteer)
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 3:02 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced that two historic Michigan lighthouses will receive preservation grants, and both are located in the U.P.

The Rock of Ages Lighthouse and the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse were granted $106,000 in Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) grants from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

The Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society will hire a contractor to rehabilitate the 132-foot-tall lighthouse by cleaning and painting the exterior. Situated on a tiny island of rock three miles off the coast of Isle Royale, Rock of Ages Lighthouse was last painted in 1985. This is the first MLAP grant award to Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society.

The Keweenaw County Historical Society will hire a contractor to rehabilitate the tower of the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse. Proposed work will include replacement of deteriorated brick and selective repointing of the tower, repairing damaged plaster on the tower interior, roof and wall water diversion, and deck and lantern room repair. Since 2000, this is the fifth MLAP grant award to Keweenaw County Historical Society.

Funding for this program comes from the sale of specialty Save Our Lights license plates available from the Michigan Secretary of State. To date, the Michigan SHPO has awarded nearly $2.9 million in matching funds to help rehabilitate and preserve lighthouses for tourists and residents alike to explore and appreciate.

“The historic lighthouses lining our freshwater shoreline—the longest in the world—are part of the splendor of Pure Michigan,” said Gov. Whitmer. “I am proud that we are making an investment today to preserve these structures, reminding us of our past and encouraging us to move towards the light.”

To learn more about lighthouse preservation in Michigan, visit