Digest>Archives> April 2009

Wickie’s Wisdom

New Owner for Fort Gratiot Lighthouse?

By Timothy Harrison

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Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, Port Huron, Michigan.
Photo by: Eric L. Silvi

City officials in Port Huron, Michigan recently received a signed deed from the government for the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse.

However, the City officials are now questioning the terms of the deed. They claim they’ve been waiting two years for the document and now don’t like some of the restrictions and don’t want to agree to them. Members of the City Council are also balking at the price tag of the expenses and debt they will incur to restore the lighthouse.

We hope that the Port Huron public officials are not going to put themselves in the category of most of the elitist closed minded public officials in Old Saybrook Connecticut who did not want their lighthouse.

For the most part, non profit lighthouse groups and communities all over the country have scrambled with joy and enthusiasm to get ownership of lighthouses, regardless of the cost. They all have the intelligent foresight to realize that fund raising can be done and grant money can be located to save their historic beacons that also draw thousands of dollars in tourist revenue to their respective communities.

Lighthouses are among the oldest historic structures in America and the structures as well as the history of the people who built and kept them must be saved for future generations to help us to better understand how America developed. Lighthouses were built for one purpose only, to save lives. Now, it’s our turn, to save the lighthouses.

Since the Port Huron Museum will operate the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse Station and undertake the hard work to raise the money to restore it; the Port Huron officials should get their heads out of the sand and close this deal, sooner, rather than later.

Timothy Harrison

Editor & Publisher

This story appeared in the April 2009 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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