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Historic lighthouse receives grant for rehab

A historic northern Michigan lighthouse was one of three to receive grant funding of over $100,000 to further rehabilitation.

The North Manitou Lighthouse will undergo more repairs to the deck and interior of the lighthouse.

It was covered in rust when the current owners, Daniel and Anna Oginsky won it in auction in 2016. They have been renovating since.

Daniel Oginsky, President of the North Manitou Light Keepers, said they won the award because of the lighthouse’s dire need for repair.

“We applied for a grant for a really important project to replace some exterior decking material that not only serves as a foot surface to walk on but it’s also a roof over the living quarters in the lighthouse,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of water intrusion that’s starting to cause a lot of structural damage so it’s a really important project that we needed to do.”

Oginsky said board members plan to start lighthouse tours this summer.

The ninety-year-old structure is located off of the Leelanau Peninsula. It lies in one of the most beautiful places in the country according to its keepers.

Oginsky said they wanted to maintain its historical elements in the renovation.

“We’re going to be able to fix it up and show what it’s like when coast guard personnel lived there and we’re going to be able to put in finishes in the kitchen, the bathroom and the guest rooms so that it becomes more of comfortable space,” he said. “In addition to running tours out there we’re also, in the future, going to offer the chance for people to stay out their overnight or for the weekend.”

He said overnight stays will be dependent upon how much funding they receive.

Aurora is a photojournalist major and an undecided minor going into her sophomore year at Central Michigan University. After college, she hopes to work as a photojournalist.
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