Save the date – July 14 Peterson Park Northport

Please join us the evening of July 14 for a celebration of our National Historic Register designation.

Details to come.

Photo credit: Bugs Beddow


Leelanau Enterprise covers us again

Vice President Cathy Allchin and board member Phil von Voigtlander were recently profiled in an article about our National Register designation. We’ve made great strides in restoring the buildings, but access remains an issue….whether a mooring, dock or something else, we maintain commitment to public access.

Annual Meeting – Includes Event Video

Come join our annual meeting Thursday, November 11, 2021 6 – 8 p.m. at The Union in Northport, MI. Hors d’oeuvres provided by FILA board members. Public invited.

107 Nagonaba Street

Video of the event can be viewed here.

Michigan Natural Features Inventory Update

The Michigan Natural Features Inventory team released photos of their late summer’s work on North and South Fox Islands on Facebook recently. Their official report should be available in March.

Per project lead Joshua Cohen “The work involved detailed mapping of the islands using sets of aerial imagery and then surveying the entirety of the public land. We characterized the vegetation in each of the mapped stands, we aged trees, evaluated soils and hydrology, and documented populations of rare plants.”

“South Fox Island is a giant moraine of clay and gravel. The erosion of the moraine, combined with fluctuating water levels, causes complex depositions of sands on top of and in front of the moraines, leading to dunes perched hundreds of feet above the lake….South Fox Island harbors some of the best remaining perched dune systems in the world as well as incredible old-growth northern white-cedar forest on the rugged back dunes.”

Much of their narrative is based on features on DNR land on the north end of the island rather than that the station proper. The station area is relatively less mature biologically and lacks the historic cedars. Nonetheless, we are happy to have helped support this project.

It’s official: the Station is on the National Register

It’s official. The South Fox Island Light Station is on the National Register.

Todd Walsh, National Register Coordinator, State Historic Preservation Office, writes “I am pleased to let you know that South Fox has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The official listing date is August 26, 2021.”

We believe the ID will be 100006861 once it become searchable on the National Register site.

Photo credit: Kathy Sanders

Final Public Tours of the Season

Maritime Heritage Alliance’s Champion arrived today to extract our last team “in residence” for the 2021 season. Window covers are “on” and the station winterized. This marks the end of our public tours including building interiors. The campus itself remains open, of course, a public resource owned by the Michigan DNR.

We may still get a day trip or two in if we have willing boaters. We’re also working with a contractor on two roof issues. You may still see us out there, but buildings will closed to the public until next season.

A fine season with a fine finale having our all women’s team picked up by an all-female crew aboard Champion.

Tower Stairs Painted

This year’s significant projects just keep coming. Volunteer Kathy Sanders, who painted the lantern room platform and railing last year, is back at it again with another great project: painting the 1867 lighthouse spiral stairs and railing. Impressive!

More Good Ink

The August 7, 2021 Leelanau Enterprise featured long serving volunteers Kathy & Bruce Rollins in an article “Texas couple spends 3 weeks on island.”

Families First Monthly featured an article with a somewhat historical focus.

Another Champagne Moment

Kathy, Bruce, Charlie, Lorinda, Eric and Gary toasting Joerg and Lightkeeper’s 50th trip to South Fox on Sunday, July 27. This also marked approximately 7500 nautical miles covered by all volunteers boats on behalf of the South Fox Island Light Station restoration project.

Good Ink

Wow, we’re seeing great ink this year supporting the South Fox Island Lighthouse project! The Leelanau Enterprise did articles both on our current activities and captain Joerg.  The Leelanau Ticker featured current Vice President Cathy Allchin’s vision for the island. Sandy Bradshaw’s July 15 article in the Glen Arbor Sun (see captures some of the organization’s early history including the key role played by Northport’s Phil von Voigtlander. Please join us and become part of the next chapter!