Lighthouse keepers plan major lighthouse repairs.

September 17, 2019

Big Sable Point Lighthouse.

Lighthouse keepers plan major lighthouse repairs.

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — The Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association’s board of directors has identified $2 million of projects that it would like to see accomplished. During the organization’s recent annual meeting, attended by 106 members and guests, board Vice President Al Cocconi and Executive Director Peter Manting discussed the board’s vision for the future of the organization’s lighthouses, which include Big Sable Point Lighthouse, Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse, Little Sable Point Lighthouse and White River Light Station and Museum. 

Phase One includes repairing and repainting the tower at Big Sable and contracting for a historic structures report for the lighthouse. The budget for this is $225,000.00 and will need to be paid for from money over and above the association’s budget, Manting said. “SPLKA has pictures of 139 rust spots that need to be taken care of on the exterior steel cladding of the building. Spots will need to be repaired and welded shut. After the repair, the tower will then be in need of new coat of paint.”

The Historic Structures report is a complete architectural survey of the Big Sable property. 

“The report will direct SPLKA to most urgent preservation needs and will prioritize the restoration list to be done to our famous landmark,” Manting said. 

“We are breaking these projects up into small manageable pieces,” Manting said. 

SPLKA has raised over $93,000.00 toward the $225,000 needed. An anonymous giver has challenged the members and the surrounding community to raise $20,000 by October 31. The donor will match the total of the gifts up to a total of $20,000. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for both the members and our community givers, to help SPLKA and see their funds doubled for the Phase 1 project,” Manting said.  

“We are certainly hoping to be able to raise the needed funds to get both of these projects underway by next season,” Cocconi, said. “SPLKA continues to strive toward our mission to preserve, promote and educate the public and to make out lighthouses accessible to all.”

SPLKA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Gifts to this project can be sent in or dropped off to the SPLKA office at P.O. Box 673, 905 E Ludington Ave, Ludington, MI 49431, given through the donate button on the SPLKA web site,, or called in to the SPLKA office at 231- 845-7415. Office hours are Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All gifts received by Nov. 1 will count toward the match. 




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