BAY DE NOC TWP. — It’s important to keep the Upper Peninsula’s history alive. One of the area’s more iconic landmarks is going through a bit of a change.
The Peninsula Point Lighthouse was built in the mid–1860s. It’s experienced some wear–and–tear over the years due to heavy tourism. The Superior Watershed Partnership’s Great Lakes Conservation Corps is helping the Hiawatha National Forest and HistoriCorps work on some renovations.
“We always got to see the lighthouse and climb up the stairs, and to actually be able to work on it is pretty cool,” said Camila Dul, Crew Leader for the Great Lakes Conservation Corps.
They’re restoring both the brick masonry and the interior painting. Between each brick and behind each layer of paint in the lighthouse lie pieces of history that, if the lighthouse isn’t tended to, may never be discovered.
“It’s great to share the history with these people,” said Dul. “They know when it was built, and they’re able to explore it. They have a chance to get inside and feel the history around them.”
Now, it’s not every day that these crews are placed in such a unique work setting. They’re taking in every minute of it here, because the views are simply astounding.
“Honestly it’s just a great place to be and it’s a great place to get in touch with nature too, just the view and to see what we have here. This is a great spot where monarchs come and land,” Dul said.
The Stonington Peninsula is a major viewing site for the monarch migration. In the late summer and early fall, thousands of monarchs join to begin an almost 2,000 mile trip down to Mexico.
“It’s cool just to see that experience as well, you go to the top and you see monarch butterflies flying everywhere,” said Dul.
And, since the crews are working so hard to maintain this important piece of history, They may be allowed to break some rules.
“We always say ‘no camping’ to people and here we were confused, we saw tents and we were like, ‘yeah we get to camp here!’ It’s great to be on site for the job,” said Dul. “All you have to do is get out of your tent, eat breakfast and walk right on over.”
The project is expected to wrap up this week. Once they’re done, they, and many more visitors, will be able to enjoy the Peninsula Point Lighthouse for many years into the future.