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Apostle Islands lighthouse repairs underway

Repair work is expected to continue this summer and fall on a number of Apostle Island lighthouses. Pictured is repair work taking place on Sand Island Lighthouse. (Submitted photo)

Fans of Lake Superior’s historic lighthouses will be glad to know that the “lights of the Apostles” are receiving a lot of tender loving care. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is continuing a multi-year lighthouse preservation project through the summer and fall of this year, with work happening at five of the Lakeshore’s six historic light stations. Michigan Island light is seeing plastering, painting, roof repairs, and installation of new exhibits; Devils Island light station is receiving repairs and new windows at the keepers’ quarters as well as new concrete footings for the light tower; Outer Island light is receiving tower painting, repairs, and new lantern glass, Long Island (La Pointe) light tower is receiving new concrete footings as well as a new roof on the keepers’ quarters; and (with help from the Friends of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore) Raspberry Island light is receiving major repairs to its historic boathouse.

This much-needed repair work means some temporary closures at four of the light stations in 2014. While the park is working to minimize public inconvenience, some closures are necessary for visitor safety. Per the schedule below, some light station buildings are closed to visitation while work is in progress, as are adjacent areas of grounds, and the normal volunteer “keepers” are not in residence during construction. In some cases lighthouse dock closures are also required for visitor safety and to guarantee dock space for the work crews and materials. Michigan Island light is most impacted by closures as dock space is limited, and work on the station and grounds is very extensive. As weather might delay some of the work, it is possible that some closures will continue later into the summer than planned.

The park apologizes in advance for any inconveniences, and recommended that anyone planning on visiting any of these light stations in 2014 check in advance with the park on any closures which might be in place. We don’t want you to be disappointed by a “Closed for Renovation” sign.

The light stations are of course still visible from the water, and viewing from offshore is a good, safe way to see the work in progress. Please watch for updates and “behind the scenes” construction photos on the park’s Facebook page! 

Here are the anticipated dates for construction, which will result in partial or full closures to the light stations and in some cases the adjacent docks. These dates may be subject to change. 

Michigan Light and Dock: May 15 through August 15 (grounds will be open but all exhibits may not be completed by mid-August)

Devils Light (East and West landings may be closed as required): May 15 through July 15

La Pointe (Long Island) Light (dock may be closed as required): July 15 through November 1

Outer Island Light (dock may be closed as required): July 1 through November 1