Monday, December 24, 2007

Urban renewal

The December 22 Green Bay Press-Gazette brings word that the old North Point Light (shown here in 1927), on the shores of Lake Michigan in what is now urban Milwaukee, has recently been fully restored.

Like many Great Lakes lights, the North Point Light went into service as shipping on the Great Lakes boomed in the middle of the nineteenth century (1855 in the North Point light's case). It was moved once due to shoreline erosion before it eventually fell into disuse, and disrepair, in 1994.

But fortunately, the old light had a group of willing volunteers in its corner. Funds were raised, the federal government chipped in US$1.6 million, and the seventy-four-foot tower was restored in 2006. Just months ago, the nearby keepers' dwelling was also given a much-needed facelift, a move that fully returned the site to its early twentieth-century grandeur.

And there are bigger plans afoot. The light is being thrown open to the public, with guided tours and visits on the agenda for the summer months. The volunteers, who dub themselves the North Point Lighthouse Friends, also envision a maritime museum taking up residence in the old keepers' quarters.

You can read the Press-Gazette story here.

Visit the impressive North Point Lighthouse web site here.

This will be my last posting for 2007, as Leeward Press takes a much-needed holiday siesta. Look for more, including preordering information on my first book, Lake Erie Stories (due out in May), early in the new year.

Happy holidays!

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