Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: Joan Moody
For Immediate Release:June 4, 2004
Secretary Norton Announces Transfer
of Five More Lighthouses

(TRAVERSE CITY, MI) -- Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton today announced the transfer of four Michigan lighthouses and one lighthouse in Washington state from the U.S. Coast Guard to nonprofit groups or state and county agencies.

"Under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, these lighthouses are going at no cost to those who can be the best stewards of them," said Norton. Recipients of lighthouses must ensure their stewardship for public parks and recreation and for cultural, educational and historic preservation purposes.

Speaking at the Great Lakes Lighthouse Conference at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Norton noted that the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act program has made great progress since she made the initial announcements about it in Traverse City two years ago.

The National Park Service, in partnership with the U.S. General Services Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard, has made 30 lighthouses and stations available for transfer from the Coast Guard. Today the Secretary set in process the transfer of the following lighthouses:

Manitou Island Lighthouse, MI: Constructed in 1862 the lighthouse, which sits on an island east of Keweenaw Point, is recommended for transfer to the Keweenaw Land Trust.

Sturgeon Point Light, MI: Located near Alcona, this lighthouse has saved many lives since it was placed into service in 1870 to light a "ship-killing" reef off the shores of Lake Huron. It is recommended for transfer to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Cheboygan River Front Light Station, MI: From its location in Cheboygan, this lighthouse guides vessels into the Cheboygan River from Lake Huron. Although its transfer to the Great Lakes

Lighthouse Keepers Association was already approved on April 9, Secretary Norton formally announced it this evening.

Point Betsie Lighthouse, MI: Located near Crystal Lake on the Lake Michigan shore of Benzie County, the 1858 red-roofed white lighthouse is one of the most photographed in the United States. It will be transferred under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act authority of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to Benzie County and the Friends of Point Betsie.

Grays Harbor Light, WA: in Washington state will go to the Westport-South Beach Historical Society. The Society has operated the lighthouse under a Coast Guard license since 1998 - a hundred years after the lighthouse was first lit in 1898. The 107-foot white tower of the lighthouse graces the southern entrance to Grays Harbor at Point Chehalis near Westport, Washington.

These lighthouses join previously transferred historic structures along more
both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. (For more information, see

"Michigan has the most lighthouses of any state--more than 120," the Secretary noted. "Michigan has responded strongly to the challenge to help find responsible caretakers for the many surplus historic lights likely to become available over the next five to ten years." She commended The Michigan Lighthouse Project, a partnership among states, federal agencies, local governments and nonprofit organizations.


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