“Food was important to have on hand. When I was in the Guard, there was one keeper who knew we were coming and threw all his food out for the gulls. The wind shifted and blew like hell for four or five days–he had to go out to the beach and get what he could from the gulls. As a Group Commander, one of my rulings was to leave canned food in all the lights over the winter. People who got stuck in the ice could often make it to a lighthouse or crib and that food could save their lives.”
~former GT Lighthouse resident Doug McCormick (from NMJ)
The Grand Traverse Lighthouse is located nine miles north of Northport, Michigan at the very tip of the Leelanau Peninsula. While the post of keeper was an arduous one in wintertime in the 1930s, it’s an easier post now. The lighthouse is accepting applications to live in the historic lighthouse and be a winter or summer keeper for the 2012 season through their Keeper Program.
Keepers live in the fully furnished northern apartment of the lighthouse and have full access to the lighthouse tower which boasts amazing views of the Manitou Passage and Grand Traverse Bay. There are two bedrooms with twin beds, a full and half bath, a well appointed kitchen and large living room, all with views of the lake.
The regular program runs from May through November, and keepers are responsible for greeting visitors at the admissions desk and providing them with historical information. They also run the gift shop, and work on building and grounds maintenance, cleaning and other related lighthouse projects. They must be energetic, comfortable speaking with the public, in good health, able to climb stairs and be on duty 8 to 9 hours per day with breaks. There is a program fee of $195.00 per person per week.
The Winter Keeper Program runs from December through April. For $100.00 per night up to four people can stay at the lighthouse. There is a minimum two night stay. Children are welcome and families encouraged to visit. Although the museum and gift shop are closed to the public the grounds are open for cross country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, bird watching and other wintery activities. Lighthouse work projects will be expected from all keepers.
Get all the details at the link above or contact Lisa Drummond at the GTLM office at (231) firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Grand Traverse Light, Leelanau St Pk, MI by arrdubyazee