Upper Peninsula lighthouses get improvement funding

What's happening: Two lighthouses in the Upper Peninsula will receive crucial assistance for upgrades and maintenance, according to state officials. The two lighthouses are the Rock of Ages Lighthouse and the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, both of which are in Keweenaw County. Rock of Ages highlights shallow and rocky areas near Isle Royale, while Eagle Harbor is on the mainland for ships coming into the harbor. 

What is the financial impact: Funding for the projects came from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), which operates the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program. The SHPO is funded through add-ons at the Michigan Secretary of State, by purchasing the “Save Our Lights” license plates. The Rock of Ages Lighthouse and the Eagle Harbor lighthouse will receive a combined $106,000 for upgrades to both facilities. 

What they're saying: “The historic lighthouses lining our freshwater shoreline — the longest in the world — are part of the splendor of Pure Michigan,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “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.”

What's next: The Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society is hiring a contractor to clean and paint the exterior of the 132-foot-tall building. It was last painted in 1985. The Keweenaw County Historical Society will also hire a contractor for the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse; that project will focus on brick replacement and water diversion.
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