New life for an old light, which is also Michigan’s oldest, and located right here in our own back yard. The Fort Gratiot Light Station was the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program this past year with matching funds coming from the Friends of the Fort Gratiot Light Station. St. Clair County Parks and Recreation Director Dennis Delor says the funds were used to refurbish rooms at the very top of the lighthouse.
“These are the rooms where you can see the light flash and the room below it,” said Delor. “This way when guests come up into the tower, they can see up into the lantern room and see also the ceiling, (which) is now exposed.”
The Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program is funded through sales of specialty Michigan license plates. Both the lantern room and the watch rooms were restored to their 1930s appearance. Also receiving attention was the lighthouse keeper’s duplex which last year received a new roof. The Fort Gratiot light station is owned by the county parks and recreation commission and is operated by the Port Huron Museum.