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150-year-old lighthouse in Michigan will reopen ahead of tourist season

Tawas Point State Park - Lighthouse Side View
Tawas Point Lighthouse in Iosco County is set to reopen on May 2, nearly 150 years from when it originally opened. (iStock photo by scgerding)
  • Tawas Point Lighthouse in Iosco County will reopen in early May after a year of construction
  • The historic lighthouse has been around for nearly 150 years 
  • Visitors can tour the lighthouse for free during the opening ceremony on May 2

After a year of reconstruction, Tawas Point Lighthouse in Iosco County will reopen in early May. The 67-foot-tall lighthouse sits between Tawas Bay and Lake Huron at Tawas Point State Park.

The $455,500 project, paid for using federal Covid-19 relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, included restoring the exterior of the lighthouse as well as repainting the lantern room and gallery inside the lighthouse. Ventilation and moisture issues that caused the tower to deteriorate were also corrected during reconstruction.


“After many years we are so excited to see the tower of Tawas Point Lighthouse return to the gleaming white beacon it was meant to be,” Laurie Perkins, a Michigan History Center site historian for Tawas Point Lighthouse, said in a news release issued by the state Department of Natural Resources. “The crowning glory of the restoration project is the lantern room where the 1891 fourth order Frensel Lens still resides.”


Tawas Point Lighthouse is one of the 129 lighthouses in Michigan, more than in any other state. 

The money to renovate the lighthouse and make other enhancements to state parks and recreational facilities are part of the $250 million the DNR received from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s $4.8 billion Build Michigan Together Plan

The lighthouse will officially reopen on May 8 but the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan History Center and the state park will host an early viewing of the lighthouse on May 2, which marks 147 years since its first lighting. 


“We are grateful for the hard work and immense care that the Friends of Tawas Point Lighthouse and State Park consistently dedicate to this historic site,” Micah Jordan, the Tawas Point State Park supervisor, said in the news release

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 2 visitors can tour the lighthouse for free and browse the gift shop, but a recreation passport is required for vehicles entering the state park. There will also be vendors and food trucks at the event.  

Visitors will be able to enjoy the lighthouse just before the campground closes for the season. Tawas State Park will also undergo renovations and the modern campground will be closed from September 3, 2024, through April 30, 2025, for electric enhancements.

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