Digest>Archives> September 2003

Changes at Point Betsie

By Timothy Harrison


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Point Betsie Lighthouse, Michigan, photograph by ...
Photo by: James F. Sens

This year marks the first season that one of Michigan’s most photographed lighthouses has opened to the public.

Point Betsie Lighthouse, the last lighthouse on Lake Michigan to be automated, is now being managed by the Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse, a non-profit group that runs the lighthouse in an agreement with Benzie County, which has a long-term lease from the Coast Guard.

According to the group’s web site, they want the county to obtain ownership of the lighthouse so that through representational government, both the voting citizens and seasonal residents can have a final say on what happens to Point Betsie Lighthouse. However, this writer does not believe this would be in the best interest of the lighthouse. Mixing lighthouse preservation and lighthouse management with politics, even on a local basis is wrong. The lighthouse would be much better off in the long run if it was owned by a non-profit organization. All one needs to do is look at the situation at Currituck Lighthouse in North Carolina to realize that county governments should never be involved in managing a lighthouse.

Be that as it may, the Friends group is something worthy to join and get involved with to help them in their efforts to care for the lighthouse and keep it open to the public. You visit them on their web site at www.pointbetsie.org or contact them at Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse, P.O. Box 601, Frankfort, MI 49635 or call 231-352-4915.

This story appeared in the September 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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