Whitewashing Completed!

Carl & Dori Behrend of Old Country Painting & Restoration completed their engagement on the light yesterday. They were assisted by tuckpointing expert Mark Lee. Over the past two weeks they prepped, primed and painted the underside of the 1867 Lighthouse lantern room as well as the soffits and facia boards on the Lighthouse dwelling. They tuckpointed the entire lighthouse, whitewashed the tower and areas on the rear of the dwelling we had be unable to reach, and did touch up whitewashing where they had tuckpointed. In addition, they secured a temporary cap on the lantern room where the ventilator ball is missing. We’re very pleased with their work and am sure anyone seeing the light will be also. It’s spectacular!

David Nobles Donates Lawn Tractor and Generator

Long term member David Nobles donated a new John Deere S130 lawn tractor to FILA on Wednesday. He also delivered a further gift of a 3000 watt generator. These extraordinary gifts will make our teams more productive. Thanks, David.

(Photo: David with DNR representative Ham Hobson and members Karen & John Wells who assisted with the delivery. Photo credit: Cathy Allchin)

Whitewashing the tower

Carl and Dori Behrend of Old Country Painting & Restoration, well-respected lighthouse restoration professionals, headed out to the island Saturday escorted by Lightkeeper and the FILA team of Cathy Allchin, Pete Koeppen, John McKinney, Linda Posler, Kathy Sanders and Captain Joerg Rothenberger. The scope of work includes: prepping and painting the underside of the 1867 lantern room, whitewashing the tower, whitewashing the backside of the Keeper’s quarters over the “lean to” and prepping and painting eaves, soffit and facia boards. Carl had rigged a lake water supply and started work cleaning and prepping as the FILA team returned to Northport.

Boating Milestone

At approximately 9:30 on Friday, June 11, the outbound crew celebrated Joerg Rothenberger’s 2500th nautical mile on behalf of FILA since he became owner of Lightkeeper and his 37th trip as skipper. Joerg provided champagne in celebration of the milestone.

In total, the organization has logged an estimated 7200 nautical miles across various boats on behalf of the station’s restoration. We have literally come a long way!

Lightkeeper launched

Announcing the start to our 2021 season. Captain Joerg reports Lightkeeper was launched today. Looking forward to a trip out next week.

State Historic Review Board Approves Nomination

On Friday, May 28, the Michigan State Historic Preservation Review Board approved the nomination of South Fox to the National Register. There’s still a further review at the Federal level before we’re officially on the register, but this is a significant milestone. Great news!

National Register Application scheduled for review

Our National Register Application is scheduled for review by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Review Board at their May 21 meeting.

The meeting starts at 10 a.m. via zoom. For information on attending, click on the May meeting link at Meeting Materials and Minutes | MiPlace

The presentation will be made by Cheri Szcodronski, Architectural Historian at Firefly Preservation Consulting, LLC who assisted us in completing the nomination. This is an important “next step” in having the station officially recognized.

Schooner run aground

1881: Schooner Monguagon runs aground

Schooner run agroundFog can set in quickly out on the big lake and the Schooner Monguagon went aground off South Fox Island on May 18,1881 in the midst of a thick fog. It wouldn’t be until 1895 that the island fog signal building was authorized and built.

The Monguagon was more fortunate than some, as she got off the shoal after 1,500 bushels of her cargo was jettisoned. She continued on her way to Chicago with the remaining cargo of 20,700 bushels of wheat. The Monguagon was built in 1874 in Trenton, Michigan, and called Detroit her home port. The 301-ton schooner carried a crew of six.

This is “old news” of course. It highlights a typical posting from our current Facebook series where volunteer Kathy Foster has been sharing stories about historic ship wrecks and groundings. Please check out www.facebook.com/southfoxlight to read more of this interesting history.

lighthouse and assistant keepers building

National Register nomination moving forward

lighthouse and assistant keepers buildingCheri LaFlamme Szcodronski, Owner & Architectural Historian at Firefly Preservation Consulting, LLC., has been engaged to complete the National Register Nomination for the station.

She notes the team has “done a wonderful job on the primary source research and developing the history of the light station… this is a beautiful historic place, and I look forward to the opportunity to work on this special project.”

The DNR is assisting with funding.

Volunteer Lightkeepers Featured in The Monroe News

Our first all-woman volunteer lightkeeper team made the news!

Karen Schenavar of Monroe and Sandra White of South Rockwood are long-time friends and frequent travel partners.

But their adventure in August at South Fox Island Light Station in Leelanau County was more adventuresome than usual, even for those two. South Fox Island is in Lake Michigan about 22 miles offshore; north of the Manitou islands and south of Beaver Island.

…During their stay from Aug. 20-27, this group of volunteers worked on maintenance such as painting the tower and painting the barn. Catherine Allchin, vice president of the Fox Island Lighthouse Association, led the tasks.

White said she enjoyed her landscaping assignment; which included several trips to the lakeshore looking for Milwaukee bricks that washed up that could be used on the grounds. Those bricks were part of a supply shipment to construct the lighthouse; and still can be found intact.

White also discovered a rock bed that no one had previously noticed, the association members will be following up on that site for research.

Read more in the Monroe Daily News and get information about volunteering for FILA.