Presented by the Michigan Historic Preservation Network
MHPN 2013 Citizen Award Recipient, David Bardsley
David J. Bardsley has been selected to receive the Michigan Historic Preservation Network (MHPN) 2013 Citizen Award for his “… Contribution and Dedication to Preserving and Restoring the DeTour Reef Light”. The award is presented at the MHPN’s Annual Conference to an outstanding individual, who “through personal effort and/or involvement in historic preservation projects has made a significant contribution to the preservation of Michigan’s heritage.” This is the first time the Lighthouse community has been recognized by the MHPN.
After receiving notification of the award, Dave shared, “I am humbled by MHPN Citizen Award and by everyone in DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) that also deserve this award … It will take a while for me to come out of shock and figure out how to share this honor with all who have worked so hard to restore the DeTour Reef Light and to keep our programs running for the benefit of those who treasure our maritime heritage and want to experience life on an off shore light station.”
DRLPS President, Ann Method Green noted, “We are proud that Dave has received this honor. He has played a significant part in our success and his constant, dedicated, and untiring efforts towards restoring the DeTour Reef Light, building the Society, and helping ensure that the Light will be available for future generations to enjoy and appreciate uniquely qualifies him for the award. Beyond his work with the DeTour Reef Light, he is also an active volunteer and contributing member of many community organizations.”
These additional contributions include the Drummond Island Lions, Keryx Prison Ministry-Chippewa Area Council, the Drummond Island Writing Team for the Comprehensive Resource Management Plan for Drummond Island. He is a volunteer for the Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS), an elder of the Drummond Island Lutheran Church and he was a member of the Drummond Island Inter-service Council until it disbanded. He is also a member of the Senior Lunch clean-up crew and “emcee” at the lunches, has raised a puppy for Leader Dogs For the Blind, and offers a dog training class to dog owners in the community.
The Michigan Historic Preservation Network
The MHPN awards have been presented annually since 1994 in multiple preservation categories including Commercial/Building, Citizen, Community, Government/Institution, Cultural Landscape, Tax Credit Project, Memorial, Leadership, and Distinguished Service.
The 33rd Annual Statewide Preservation Conference will be held on the campus of Northern Michigan University in Marquette from May 8-11, 2013. The theme of this year’s conference is “Ingredients of Place”.
The Awards Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 10th at the C. Fred Rydholm Gathering Hall in the Marquette County Historical Society.
The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society
Built in 1931, and standing a mile offshore in northern Lake Huron at the far eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the DeTour Reef Light rises 83 feet above the water. The structure, sitting on a unique 60-foot square, 20-foot high concrete crib, is a steel-framed square tower of three distinct levels. It marks a dangerous reef to help guide ship traffic from and to Lake Huron and Lake Superior via the strategic St. Mary’s River. The Light was automated in 1974. In 1997, the lighthouse was declared surplus property by the U. S. Coast Guard due to sophisticated navigational systems aboard ships and because the Coast Guard did not have the funding to care for the structure in accordance with historic preservation guidelines.
In 1998, local citizens formed the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization to restore and preserve the lighthouse which sits between the two communities of DeTour Village and Drummond Island. DRLPS dedicated volunteers have worked determinedly to build the membership-based society and acquire donations and grant funding for their educational and restoration programs to preserve the historic DeTour Reef Light and enhance the importance of the rich maritime heritage of the region.
Every year since 2005, the DRLPS has sponsored a Lighthouse Tour program and a Resident Lighthouse Keeper program from June through August. The DeTour Reef Light is the only off shore light, sitting on an underwater reef, offering overnight stays. The original 1931 F2T fog horn was re-built, and sounding the fog horn is a highlight of the visit on the Light. The programs are popular with lighthouse lovers and boat watchers and are an experience of a lifetime.
The DRLPS was designated a Preserve America Steward by Michelle Obama in August 2010, received the 2005 Governor’s Award for excellence in historic preservation, and the Superior Award in 2006 from the Historical Society of Michigan. The DeTour Reef Light is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
To learn more about the organization, the lighthouse, and the public tours and light keeper programs, please visit www.DRLPS.com, email DRLPS@drlps.com, call 906-493-6609 or write to DRLPS, PO Box 307, Drummond Island, MI 49726.