“Relight the Light”

The iconic 104 foot South Manitou Island Lighthouse is strategically located on the heavily trafficked Manitou Passage on the 300 mile eastern route from Chicago to Mackinaw. It identified both the passage and the most frequently used refuge on the Great Lakes. This historic beacon to shelter, commerce and growth has been dark for almost 50 years. Help us restore this light to its appropriate brilliance.

View lens construction photos
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Project Description and Cost:
Fabricate and install replica third order Fresnel Lens in the lantern room of the South Manitou Island Lighthouse. Illuminate the lens using a solar powered L.E.D. light.

  1. Fabricate and install replica third order Fresnel Lens
    ArtWorks Florida - $57,000
  2. L.E.D. array, Electro-Optics - $6,000
  3. Solar power source $5,000
  4. Replacing glass panels $3,000
  5. Labor $10,000
Estimated total project cost $81,000

How can I Help:
The NPS has applied for a matching grant and is looking into other grant opportunities as well. However, we will need your help! Our goal is to have the lighthouse illuminated year round so that you can look off shore and see her light and know you had a part in it.

Send tax deductible donations to:
Manitou Island Memorial Society
PO Box 177, Empire, MI 49630
Please earmark checks In care of "Relight the Light"

Donate Online with PayPal:

Contact us: 231.256.2664 or email

Google Map of S. Manitou Island