Work and Live in a Lighthouse on Vacation ... Be a Lighthouse Keeper at a Great Lakes Lighthouse
Grand Traverse Lighthouse
Lighthouse Keeper Program at Great Lakes Lighthouses
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live in a lighthouse by the sea? Well, thanks to the Lighthouse Keeper Program, that dream can become a reality. The program offers the opportunity to live for a week in a participating Great Lakes lighthouse and perform duties such as welcoming visitors, sharing with them the history of the station and working in the gift shop.
You must think of your participation in the program as an educational experience and not a vacation...or as some prefer to call it, a working vacation.
Most of the accommodations include a fully equipped kitchen (you provide your own food), bedrooms, baths and a common living area.
The price for this "pay to play" experience is very reasonable and the monies collected go directly to benefit the lighthouse for restoration and preservation.
Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan
Built in 1870, the Grand Traverse Lighthouse is located on the shores of Lake Michigan in LeeLanau State Park in Northport, Michigan. Locally known as "Cat's Head Point Light", it is open for program participants April through December each year. The cost per person is $195 per week and you are required to become a member of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum for a $15 dues fee. Gift certificates are also available for purchase for the lighthouse enthusiast on your shopping list. What a unique gift idea!
An application for the Keepers Program at this lighthouse and a calendar with available weeks can be found at http://www.grandtraverselighthouse.com/keeper-program/
Tawas Point Lighthouse on Lake Huron
Another participant in the Keepers Program is Tawas Point Lighthouse located on Lake Huron in Tawas Point State Park in northern Michigan. The cost to attend there is $275 weekly per person and includes much the same amenities as noted above. You must be 18 years of age and there is room for 3 people to stay each week. An application and additional information can be obtained by calling the Tawas Point Lighthouse museum store at 989-362-5658.
TV Program about Tawas Point Lighthouse on Lake Huron, Michigan
Tawas Point Light was featured in the Great Getaways TV Travel Series which is broadcast in the Midwest US and Canada. Below is a video clip from that program
Spring at Tawas Point Lighthouse on Lake Huron, Michigan
If you have participated in the Lighthouse Keepers Program, how do you rate it?
Lighthouse Keepers Program at Additional Michigan Lighthouses
Several other stations on the Great Lakes are joining in on offering this opportunity for the public to learn about our maritime heritage and to experience "lighthouse living". For information about other participating facilities, please go to http://www.michiganlights.com/keeperbandbinfo.htm. The website also gives details about lighthouse bed and breakfasts in the Great Lakes region
Though the tasks that are expected of you during your stay are not exactly like the chores of the original Lighthouse Keepers and their families, you can imagine what their lives were like by staying in their former homes and soaking up the history of the area. What better way to spend a week long "working vacation"?
Video of Lighthouses Around the U.S.
© 2011 Thelma Raker Coffone