A Chronology of Major Accomplishments from 1998-2015

Compiled by Jeri Baron Feltner

Since January 1998, several significant developments due to committed people and entities have contributed to the enormous widely respected success of the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) and the restoration and preservation of the DeTour Reef Light Station along with educating the public about maritime history. The success of our Society is based on the untiring dedicated efforts of our volunteers, donors, members, and the loyal support of grant agencies for our 14 restoration and educational grants received from 1999-2013 with a total value of $1.2 million. Since the first public visitor’s program offered by DRLPS in 2005, hundreds of lighthouse enthusiasts have enjoyed touring the restored lighthouse and participating in the overnight keeper programs. DRLPS celebrates 15 years of preserving the lighthouse from 1998 to 2013, and, with your continued valued support, We’ll Keep the Light On for You for many years to come! For information on visiting the lighthouse, participating in our events, or how you can help, please go to www.DRLPS.com


There was a need for a navigational aid at the mouth of the St. Mary’s River in DeTour Passage during our nation’s development and the bustling activity of early sailing vessels from Lake Huron to Lake Superior, and, in 1848, the onshore DeTour Point Light Station was built. Due to increased traffic and larger ships, the submerged reef, a mile from shore, became more of a hazard, thus the onshore Light was closed and the offshore DeTour Reef Light Station was built in 1931.

1930 to 1997

  • 1930 – To replace the onshore DeTour Point Light Station, the mile offshore DeTour Reef Light Station was ordered to be built by the U.S. Lighthouse Service. Sitting at the end of a submerged reef, the station rests in 24 feet of water, and the 63-foot structure sits on a reinforced concrete pier atop a unique 60×60 foot box-like wooden crib and has a steel- framed square tower of three distinct levels in Classical-Revival architectural style.
  • 1931 – Relocated from the onshore DeTour Point Light to the new offshore DeTour Reef Light were the staircase cylinder, circular stairs, lantern, Fresnel lens, radio beacon, and fog signal. After 327 days and $140,000, the DeTour Reef Light Station’s light was turned on November 10. The first keepers at the Light were W. S. Hall (Keeper), James Brander (K1A), and Sterling Malone (K2A).
  • 1956 – USCG placed a F2T Diaphone air-driven foghorn on the lighthouse. It operated until 1974 when the lighthouse was automated, and was replaced by an electrically-driven fog signal.
  • 1962 – Longest serving DeTour Reef Light Station Keeper (1940-1962) Charlie Jones retired on October 31 after 22 years of service.
  • 1974 – DeTour Reef Light Station automated and no longer manned, windows boarded up and equipment removed, and the structure left to erode to the elements. Note that the USCG was still responsible for maintaining the Light apparatus as an aid to navigation.
  • 1993 – DeTour Reef Light Station’s 1909 Fresnel Lens (which was transferred from the DeTour Point Light Station in 1931 and removed in 1978) was recovered from storage in a garage in Mackinaw City by Dick Moehl and Bob Jones and put back together by the USCG and installed as an exhibit in the DeTour Passage Historical Museum in DeTour Village in 1993.
  • 1997 – Due to budget constraints and modern on-board ship navigation technology, the U.S. Coast Guard excessed the DeTour Reef Light Station making it available for ownership by government and nonprofit entities to care for, or tear the structure down and put up a metal tower with the light as an aid to navigation.
  • 1997 – Dick Moehl, President of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, learned of U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) excessing of the DeTour Reef Light (DRL) and took a trip on a USCG vessel in August 1997 to assess the lighthouse conditions with his wife Margaret, son Mike, the USCG Sault Ste Marie Group, and local DeTour Village residents Bob Jones and Jim Charles. Right after that visit, Dick and Bob rallied local citizens to form a society to save the lighthouse. After the visit to the DRL, the group had lunch at the Fogcutter Restaurant in DeTour Village (owned by Tom & Barb Snider), and while Barb served them, she learned of their mission to Save the Light! Barb and Tom subsequently had dinner at Chuck & Jeri Baron Feltner’s new home on Drummond Island in November 1997, where Barb and Jeri, friends since 1964, discussed Saving the DRL, which could be seen from the Feltner’s front window.
  • 1997 – Dick Moehl, Barb Snider and Jeri Baron Feltner met at Weber’s Restaurant in Ann Arbor on December 5 to discuss formation of a society to preserve the lighthouse. Dick brought along a heap of 501c3 application forms and instructions for Jeri to prepare (which proved to be quite a learning experience for her and the start of much more paperwork to come!).


  • On January 4, 1998, the first official meeting of the Board of Directors of the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society was conducted in DeTour Village at the Fogcutter Restaurant with Dick Moehl, Bob Jones (President), Jim Charles (Vice-President), Barb Snider (Treasurer), and Jeri Baron Feltner (Secretary). Future dedicated volunteers and charter members Chuck Feltner and Mary Rogers also attended.
  • First newspaper article about the DRLPS appeared in the Community Digest January 8, 1998, “DeTour/Drummond Residents Organize to Save Light,” by Jim MacLaren.
  • DRLPS nonprofit IRS tax-exempt 501c3 status applied for (application prepared by Jeri Baron Feltner) in January 1998 and approved in April 1998 whereupon DRLPS got the nickname of “the 90-day wonders.”
  • DRLPS logo developed in January 1998 by DRLPS member and volunteer Chuck Tanner of Drummond Island.
  • DRLPS stationery, letterhead, and business cards developed by Jeri Baron Feltner January 1998.
  • Led by the dedicated passionate leadership of DRLPS President Bob Jones, the team work assiduously beginning in January 1998 contacting and networking with national, state, and local politicians to help the Society obtain a lease of the lighthouse and support of the preservation efforts.
  • Historical documentation, correspondence, architectural and engineering drawings, and photos acquired by Jeri Baron Feltner and Chuck Feltner during 1998-2001 from various sources including local residents, their first visit to the National Archives in Washington DC in 2000, the U.S. Coast Guard in Sault Ste Marie by Bob Jones, and Jim Woodward of USCG-Cleveland provided many wonderful photos from his original glass plate collection, along with historical documents and drawings of the DeTour Point Light and DeTour Reef Light.
  • DRLPS database established by Jeri Baron Feltner in January 1998 using Avery Label Pro software which included 15 fields of information with a sort capability. Extensive effort was made by the DRLPS team to garner local, state, and nationwide support of the DRLPS, leading to a country-wide charter membership of over 350 by the end of 1998.
  • DRLPS website established by Jeri Baron Feltner in May 1998 with Iceberg Computers via a connection with the websites of Drummond Island Tourist Association and the DeTour Village Chamber of Commerce. Jeri contacted Dan Sirinne of the Woodmoor Resort who entered the DRLPS data into these websites from 1998-2000. Clif Haley recruited his employee Mike Jamroziak, of the Resort, who worked on the website in 2000-2001 and provided very creative substance. Jeri set up the domain name www.DRLPS.com with Network Solutions on December 13, 2000. Local DeTour Area Schools high school teacher Russ Norris and his talented students, including Jennie Dreves, set up many new features on the website. DeTour Village resident Sheryl LaMotte worked as webmaster 2002-2006 with help from Dave Bardsley. In 2006, Matt Sawyer volunteered to be webmaster and worked with DRLPS volunteer Chuck Feltner on the extensive development of the website with detailed layout and content.
  • A replica of the solid oak dining room table used at the lighthouse was handcrafted by Eddie McGregor of Oxford, Michigan, and donated to the DRLPS in 1998. Eddie learned about the preservation of the DRL effort and contacted President Bob Jones about wanting to help.
  • Denny Bailey, owner of Drummond Island Yacht Haven, elected as DRLPS Director in May 1998.
  • Due to the DRLPS’ diligent and dedicated team efforts and the well-respected reputation built beginning January 1998, national recognition was received by the DRLPS in 1998 from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in naming Michigan’s historic lighthouses, exemplified by the DeTour Reef Light, to its 1998 List of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places (the first time a lighthouse was included on this prestigious annual list!). First Lady Hillary Clinton made the announcement on June 15, 1998.
  • Chuck Feltner received a call from NPR (National Public Radio) on June 15, 1998, for a live interview about the DRL with Linda Wertheimer on her “All Things Considered” program. This call was in response to the announcement by the National Trust for Historic Preservation that DeTour Reef Light was placed on their List of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Chuck ended the three-minute interview with the statement – “Now remember, We’ll Keep the Light On for You!” (This phrase was a take-off of the Motel 6 ad that was running at the time.) That statement became the official “tagline” of the DRLPS.
  • DRLPS ran the first (annual) Father’s Day Boat Cruise June 1998 originated by DRLPS member Jerry Brown of Drummond Island, and organized by Barb Snider (DRLPS Director and Treasurer) and Jeri Baron Feltner (DRLPS Secretary) with the Soo Locks Boat Tour Company in Sault Ste Marie MI using the 65-foot Le Voyager and Captain Jack Cork at the wheel. The Fogcutter Restaurant (Tom & Barb Snider) in DeTour Village was the food caterer. DRLPS volunteers Jim Charles, Jeri Baron Feltner, Bob Jones, Mary Rogers, and Barb Snider operated the successful fundraiser.
  • Previous lighthouse keepers and a person who built the lighthouse were located by Jeri Baron Feltner in 1998 after placement of an ad in local newspapers that was answered by DeTour Village resident Dan McGinnis listing previous lighthouse keepers Floyd Colvin, Ron Freels, Bob Soldenski, and Jim Williams, and Alfred Lemieux (who help build the DeTour Reef Light in 1930-31). These people were subsequently contacted and interviewed by Jeri Baron Feltner and filmed by Mike Spears as part of a historical grant oral history project in 1999 and 2000.
  • The original foghorn from the DeTour Reef Light was discovered by DRLPS member Jeff Laser at the Great Lakes Historical Society warehouse in Cleveland in March 1998, while he was touring the facility. After persuasive contact by Bob Jones and Chuck Feltner, the GLHS donated the foghorn to the DRLPS and Jeff completely restored the 475-pound foghorn to working order. It was on display at the Drummond Island Historical Museum for several years and is now back on the lighthouse as of 2010 as part of the restoration program.
  • DRLPS attended the annual Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival in Alpena October 1998 with Jim Charles, Jeri Baron Feltner, Bob Jones, Mary Rogers, and Tom and Barb Snider managing the booth to spread the word about DRLPS. DRLPS had a booth for there for several years.
  • Article on the DeTour Reef Light in the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association’s magazine The Beacon in Fall 1998 “A Great Year for DeTour Reef Lighthouse!” by editor Michelle Tregembo Wilson, with the magazine cover showing a painting of the DRL by Kuschel in 1998.
  • DRLPS Secretary Jeri Baron Feltner prepared and gave a presentation on Building a Successful Lighthouse Preservation Society at the first State of Michigan Lighthouse Project “Lighthouse Preservation Workshop” held in Lansing in November 1998. Jeri also gave the same presentation at the second state conference held in Mackinaw City in May 2001, and she and Chuck Feltner gave a presentation Forming and Sustaining a Volunteer Nonprofit Lighthouse Preservation Organization at the third lighthouse conference held in Traverse City in June 2004.
  • First (annual) DRLPS silent auction and dinner fundraiser held at the Fogcutter Restaurant in DeTour Village in 1998. Arranged and managed by Barb Snider with many DRLPS volunteers. This fundraiser eventually became “Evening Under the Stars” in 1999 at the Bayside on Drummond Island


  • DRLPS Newsletter Passages created by Jeri Baron Feltner (Editor 1999-2005) and widely distributed to membership, and other interested people, organizations, and businesses. Subsequent editors included Candis Collick (2005-2007), Sheila Sawyer (2007-2012), Ann Method Green and Paula Bardsley (2011), Joan Meyer (2012-present). DRLPS volunteers mailed the newsletter managed by Dave & Paula Bardsley with assistance from Drummond Island senior citizens.
  • The very first grant awarded to the DRLPS (in 1999) was a Michigan Coastal Management Program educational grant. Application was acquired by Jeri Baron Feltner and prepared by Jeri and Chuck Feltner in 1999, and was completed in 2001. The $10,000 grant matched by DRLPS $10,000 in volunteer services included a traveling educational display entitled “Gateway to Superior: The Lighthouses of DeTour Passage (DeTour Point Light 1848 and DeTour Reef Light 1931) consisting of 120 panels of historical photographs, engineering drawings, and historical write-ups; seven oral history videos conducted by Jeri Baron Feltner and videoed by Mike Spears of former DRL keepers Floyd Colvin, Bob Soldenski, Jim Williams, and Ron Freels; Alfred Lemieux (builder of the lighthouse in 1930-1931); Captain Glen Shaw (tugboat captain); and Jim Woodward (of the Civil Engineering Unit USCG Cleveland who did projects on the DRL in the 70s), along with a full-color DeTour Reef Light brochure prepared by Jeri Baron Feltner and 5,000 copies distributed to all of the Michigan Travel Centers, Eastern Upper Peninsula businesses, and national marketing mailings. The display is used at the museum to educate the overnight keeper program participants by Keeper Program Chair Dave Bardsley since 2005.
  • A four-foot scale model of the lighthouse was meticulously handcrafted by Bob Jones and Jim Charles in 1999 and displayed on a trailer driven by volunteers in the local July 4th parades of DeTour Village and Drummond Island, and displayed at other events including the local schools.
  • Scott McLeod of DeTour Village composed words and music and a CD of a song Shine On as a tribute to the DeTour Reef Light. He donated the copyright of this song to DRLPS.
  • DRLPS was featured in a major article in the January 1999 issue of Lighthouse Digest Magazine “Saving the DeTour Reef Lighthouse: It Takes a Village,” by Cynthia Johnson, with assistance from Jeri Baron Feltner.
  • DRLPS Board of Directors at a board meeting (a mock meeting set up at Feltner’s home) featured in a video produced by Equity Studies of Traverse City in 1999 and widely distributed to government and nonprofit organizations around the country, and shown on regional television programs.
  • Organized by Bob Jones in the fall of 1999, local elementary school children completed drawings of the lighthouse (displayed at local businesses), made a lighthouse gingerbread house, and collected pop cans to raise over $500 for the DRLPS.
  • Major DRLPS raffle of an exquisite handcrafted Peapod boat made and donated by Jim Ross of DeTour Village raised over $7,000 in 1999.
  • First lighthouse restoration project of a new historically-accurate three-ton replica of a pier deck crane (#1) manufactured by Bunker Engineering of Sault Ste. Marie MI and installed by L&B Builders (Ken Lyke) of Drummond Island, utilizing DRLPS’s first Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) grant applied for in 1999 and completed in 2001 for $20,000 (matched by DRLPS cash of $10,000 and volunteer services of $10,000). Grant was acquired and prepared by Jeri Baron Feltner with assistance from Chuck Feltner who was project leader and executed the effort. Note that some original crane parts were used that were recovered from underwater when the U.S. Coast Guard disposed of the crane when the lighthouse was automated in 1974 (underwater divers included Mike Spears, Chris Pemberton, and Dock Borth).


  • Major DRLPS raffle of a Freighter Ride donated by the Interlake Steamship Company of Ohio (James R. Barker, Chairman of the Board) raised over $12,000 in 2000. Raffle was arranged by Bob Jones, organized by Jeri Baron Feltner, and executed by Richard “Dock” Borth and the DRLPS team.
  • Clif Haley, co-owner of Woodmoor Resort on Drummond Island, elected a DRLPS Director in January 2000.
  • A visit to the National Archives was made by Chuck & Jeri Baron Feltner in December 2000 to research DeTour Point Light and DeTour Reef Light for various DRLPS grants and projects (see NA report in Appendix).
  • Coast Guard removed damaged lead paint and encapsulated the plaster which contained asbestos at the lighthouse in 2000 at a cost of $66,000 (taxpayer’s money) to prepare for the DRLPS to obtain a long-term lease. An Asbestos Management Plan was subsequently prepared by Environmental Testing, Inc. of Romulus MI for DRLPS to give to the Coast Guard as a condition of the lighthouse lease. DRLPS volunteers Jim Charles, Chuck & Jeri Baron Feltner, and Bob Jones attended a required Asbestos Management Workshop, and Certificates received.
  • Cullen Chambers (of Tybee Island, Georgia), nationally-recognized lighthouse preservation consultant, contacted Jeri Baron Feltner in 1999 to inquire about preservation of the DRL, and subsequently volunteered his services to the DRLPS and conducted a significant two-day existing conditions survey on the lighthouse in June 2000. He prepared an outstanding 185- page extensive Assessment Survey and Recommendations Report for the Society that outlined recommendations for restoration and preservation, and this significant document became the foundation of our restoration plan and grant applications.
  • Jim Woodward (a steadfast supporter of the DRLPS – and a DRLPS Honorary Director) of the USCG-Civil Engineering Unit in Cleveland conducted a Joint Inspection of Conditions survey in summer 2000 as a condition of the lease application. Accompanying Mr. Woodward from the DRLPS included Chuck & Jeri Baron Feltner, Clif Haley, Bob Jones, Dick Moehl, and Barb Snider.
  • On September 5, 2000, the U.S. Coast Guard’s 20-year lighthouse lease to the DRLPS was signed by President Bob Jones and witnessed by director Dick Moehl at the Fogcutter Restaurant in DeTour Village. Several members of the DRLPS were in attendance. Draft of restoration plan was prepared by Chuck Feltner at this meeting.
  • Chuck Feltner prepared the Restoration Plan at the 9/5/2000 Lease signing meeting, and Meta Geyer wrote an article about the Plan in the Community Voice Newspaper, and the Plan was used throughout the restoration program.
  • USCG Cutter Buckthorn (Sault Ste Marie) installed a solar panel at the lighthouse in the fall of 2000 to power the light and fog signal.
  • Plym Foundation donated $15,000 in 2000 in memory of Glen Bailey as matching funds for the Clean Michigan Initiative/MDEQ (CMI) restoration grant.
  • DRLPS member Rob Bloch of DeTour Village donated in 2000 a 28-foot 1947 historic tug boat, the Philo B. Leonard, to the Society to be used as matching funds for the CMI restoration grant.
  • DRLPS member Bruce Glupker of DeTour Village donated use of a boat slip for ten years at the DeTour Passage Marina in the fall of 2000 to be used as matching funds for the CMI restoration grant.


  • Obtained major restoration grants from the Clean Michigan Initiative/Department of Environmental Quality (CMI/$705,000), and the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Transportation Equity Act of the Twenty-First Century (MDOT-TEA21/$241,500) in May 2001. Grant applications were acquired by Jeri Baron Feltner and application submitted in the fall of 2000, prepared by Clif Haley, Jeri Baron Feltner, with assistance from Chuck Feltner. Chuck Feltner was the project leader of these restoration grants with assistance from Dave Bardsley. Note that the official applicant for CMI was Drummond Island Township (Frank Sasso, Supervisor), and for MDOT was DeTour Village (Terry Nelson, Mayor). See Chuck Feltner’s extensive report to CMI in 2004 in Appendix.
  • Received State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) approval of our restoration Request-for- Proposal (RFP) for the CMI and MDOT grants in November 2001.
  • Existing conditions video produced in 2001 from a National Trust for Historic Preservation grant (DRLPS Grant #3) prepared by Jeri Baron Feltner using grant funds of $1,700 matched by DRLPS cash of $1,700. Video by Ric Mixter of Airworthy Productions of Saginaw with Chuck Feltner as grant coordinator and DRLPS contractor Anne Westlund as project manager.
  • Presentation given by Jeri Baron Feltner at the second state-run lighthouse conference Save Our Lights! Strategies for Saving Michigan’s Lighthouses held in Mackinaw City May 31, 2001, entitled “Building and Operating A Volunteer 501c3 nonprofit lighthouse Preservation Organization.”
  • Window restoration grant from the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) for $20,000 matched by $10,000 in DRLPS cash application acquired and prepared by Clif Haley with assistance from Chuck Feltner in 2001, and completed in 2003. Contractors were Mihm Enterprises (Frank Mihm), and UP Engineers & Architects (Ken Czapski). Chuck Feltner was project manager.
  • DeTour Reef Light was featured on a national PBS program on the History Channel on October 24, 2001. Legendary Lighthouse film crew (Lloyd Fales, producer from New York City) filmed the DeTour Reef Light in the fall of 2000 for their production Legendary Lighthouses II. Jeri Baron Feltner was the project manager with assistance from Bob Jones, Chuck Feltner, and Mike Spears. DRLPS was also featured in the book Legendary Lighthouses, Volume II by John Grant in 2001.


  • Architectural and engineering services contract awarded in January 2002 to U.P. Engineers & Architects, Inc. (UPEA) of Marquette (represented by Ken Czapski), for preliminary design and planning along with construction administration and management of the restoration project. They did an outstanding job for the DRLPS.
  • Bob Jones, DRLPS founding President died in March 2002. DRLPS will keep the Light on for him!
  • Vice-President Jim Charles selected as acting President in March 2002.
  • Paula Bardsley elected by Directors as Acting Recording Secretary in April 2002.
  • UPEA completed the exterior restoration bid document in April 2002. State Historic Preservation office (SHPO) approves the bid document in May 2002.
  • The No-Adverse-Effect (NAE) approval letter received from SHPO June 2002. This NAE letter means that the DRLPS restoration plans and specifications would have no adverse effect on this historic structure. This document was used for other state grant applications.
  • Jeri Baron Feltner, Secretary of the DRLPS, featured in Lighthouse Digest Magazine “Women of the Light” article in July 2002.
  • A July 2002 meeting with MDOT, DeTour Village Mayor Terry Nelson, and the DRLPS volunteers Chuck Feltner and Dave Bardsley, was held in DeTour Village to discuss the MDOT-TEA21 contract. The consultant at the meeting hired by MDOT to assist them in administration of the contract insisted that procedures required for major road construction projects be applied to the restoration of the offshore lighthouse. These inappropriate procedures caused great distress for the DRLPS and DeTour Village. Resolution was achieved with the assistance of Jacqueline Shinn of MDOT after a personal visit to her in Lansing by Chuck Feltner with the development of a legally binding agreement between the Village and DRLPS which tied up our funding for maintenance of the lighthouse for twenty years. As a consequence, both DRLPS and the Village hired lawyers to work out the legal problems.
  • SHPO approves the long-term maintenance schedule developed by UPEA in September 2002.
  • MDEQ approves first CMI grant deadline extension request to July 1, 2004, in September 2002.
  • $250,000 line of credit established by Chuck Feltner in November 2002 at the First National Bank of St. Ignace (Jim North, President) to cover restoration cash flow.
  • Gateway to Superior: Saving the DeTour Reef Light video produced using a Michigan Coastal Management Program (MCMP) educational grant of $10,000 matched by $10,000 in volunteer services. Grant application acquired and prepared by Jeri Baron Feltner in 2002, and was awarded in 2003. Dave Bardsley became project director and worked with Ric Mixter of Airworthy Productions (Saginaw) who produced the video of this high-quality documentary of the history and restoration of the DeTour Reef Light which includes former keeper interviews. Subsequent additions were made by Dave Bardsley with input from Brian Goggin and others. See Dave Bardsley’s MCMP extensive report of November 5, 2004, in Appendix.


  • Chuck Feltner elected by Directors as President #2 of DRLPS in January 2003.
  • Dawn Gibbon selected as DRLPS Accounting Contractor in January 2003.
  • MDOT approves exterior restoration plans and specifications in February 2003.
  • Exterior restoration contract (CMI, MDOT, MLAP) signed by DeTour Village Mayor Terry Nelson in April 2003.
  • Exterior restoration contract awarded to Mihm Enterprises of Hamilton MI May 2003.
  • Exterior restoration of the lighthouse began in June 2003.
  • Mihm Enterprises awarded the interior restoration contract in July 2003.
  • Second MDEQ-CMI extension request to September 30, 2004, approved in July 2003.
  • Over 9,000 pages of original lighthouse keeper’s logbooks and correspondence were located by Chuck Feltner and Jeri Baron Feltner on a visit to the National Archives in Washington DC in 2000, and were subsequently copied by the National Archives under a Michigan Coastal Management Program grant. The documents were put in binders and placed on display at the DeTour Village Library in 2003. Jeri Baron Feltner of DRLPS worked with librarian Carol Hiney. Brian Nettleton and student Dustin Fierek built two bookcases to hold the logbook and correspondence binders. Photos of the DeTour Reef Light in 1931, 1998, and 2003, were framed and placed in the library above the main entrance door.
  • Great Laker Magazine excellent article on the DRL by Dave Wobser (magazine editor) Summer 2003 called “DeTour’s Million-dollar Makeover: Beacon Restoration a DeTour Delight” – stating DeTour Reef Light restoration is a shining example of skillful fundraising and local commitment.

  • Channel 9&10 News (Corey Adkins) Michigan This Morning program filmed and featured the DeTour Reef Light with Chuck & Jeri Baron Feltner on August 22, 2003. It aired around Michigan showing lighthouse restoration in action.
  • Interior restoration of the DeTour Reef Light Station begins in September 2003.
  • CMI interior restoration contract with Mihm Enterprises signed on October 17, 2003, at the Mainsail Restaurant in DeTour Village with Terry Nelson, Chuck Feltner, Dave Bardsley, Ken Czapski and Frank and Sharon Mihm.
  • DRLPS members Fred and Linda May of Drummond Island donated in October 2003 a 50×25 foot barge to be used as a floating dock at the lighthouse.
  • Historical Material Collection educational grant application from the Michigan Coastal Management Program (MCMP) acquired and prepared by Jeri Baron Feltner and Chuck Feltner in 2003 to create an extensive five-module collection (format CD & DVD) of historical material entitled “Lighthouses of DeTour Passage: A Collection of Historical Material” which included lighthouse logbooks, correspondence, architectural and engineering drawings, historical photographs, and oral history videos. Chuck Feltner was grant coordinator and project manager with assistance from volunteers Mike Spears, Chris Pemberton, and Jeri Baron Feltner. Project began June 2004 and was completed in September 2005.
  • A 1970s vintage Ranch Oak dresser used at the lighthouse by the keepers was donated to the DRLPS by former lighthouse keeper Floyd Colvin in October 2003.
  • Alfred Lemieux, the last known survivor who built the DeTour Reef Light Station, died November 23, 2003, at the age of 94. He was a major supporter of the DRLPS, and provided many important facts and interesting stories about the building of the lighthouse during his oral history interviews by DRLPS conducted by Jeri Baron Feltner (DRLPS volunteer), Lloyd Fales (PBS TV producer), and Ric Mixter (Airworthy Productions of Saginaw).
  • In November 2003, Drummond Island Lions organization members Dave Bardsley, Norm Muench and Ken Walker repaired the damaged ice barrier around the power line to the lighthouse where it enters Lake Huron at DeTour Point.


  • Paula Bardsley elected to the Board of Directors in June 2004 (she resigned in January 2005 so that she would not be a Director while her husband Dave Bardsley was President). Glenn Lahti was elected by Directors to fill her vacancy in January 2005.
  • A photo of the DeTour Reef Light surrounded by scaffolding (with a head shot of Bob Jones and Chuck Feltner) appeared on the cover of the Spring 2004 issue of the Beacon (Great Lakes Lighthouse Association Magazine) and included an extensive story of the DRLPS by Jeri Baron Feltner.
  • Name-That-Barge contest won by Kaye Birkmeier of DeTour Village in 2004 with the name Alfred Lemieux (who was the last known survivor of the team who built the lighthouse in 1931). Forty entries were submitted. Jeri Baron Feltner was coordinator of this fun project.
  • The Drummond Island Interservice Council presented an Outstanding Citizen Award on April 17, 2004, to Chuck & Jeri Baron Feltner for their work with the restoration and preservation of the DeTour Reef Light. Dave Bardsley presented their names and a detailed application describing their efforts with the DRLPS building of the society and restoration effort since 1998 for consideration of this award.
  • Lighthouse Cabinetry and molding rehabilitation Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) grant applied for by Chuck Feltner in 2004 for $32,387 MLAP funds and a 50% DRLPS cash match of $16,193 and completed in September 2005 included construction or refurbishment and installation of seven pieces of cabinetry, and fabrication, installation and painting of metal base molding, door and window trim molding, and picture molding. Chuck Feltner was grant coordinator and project manager.
  • Major restoration of the lighthouse completed September 2004. Restoration projects from 2002-2004 included preparation of engineering drawings, roof repairs, windows refurbished and new glass installed, exterior walls were scraped and repainted, new copper downspouts, flag pole and smokestack installed. Interior work included demolishing walls that needed replacement, cleaning and painting of walls, new baseboard moldings, new floor, etc. See Chuck Feltner’s CMI 2004 report in Appendix.
  • Final inspection of the restoration work was held on the lighthouse on September 15, 2004. Seventeen people participated in this special event including: Brian Conway and Brian Lijewski of the State Historic Preservation Office, Jeff Barsch and Pete Paramski of the Michigan Department of Transportation, Susan Vincent of the Natural Park Service, DRLPS volunteers Chuck Feltner (President & Restoration Chairman), Dave Bardsley (Vice- President), Jeri Baron Feltner (Secretary), Clif Haley (Director & Grant Chairman), Dick Moehl (founding Director), Russ Norris (Youth Program Chairman); Blaine Tischer of Drummond Island Township Board, Ric Mixter of Airworthy Productions (who took a video of the event); Frank Mihm, Phil Granfors, and Al Pembrook of Mihm Enterprises; and Ken Czapski of U.P. Engineers & Architects. Lunch was served in the newly restored dining room. Federal and State grant authorities praised the restoration work as outstanding! DRLPS volunteer Chuck Feltner oversaw the restoration project with assistance from Dave Bardsley.
  • Steps on the spiral staircase leading to the lantern and the light were offered for sponsorship to DRLPS members in fall of 2004. Cost is $1,500 for each of the 32 steps and funding will be used for further restoration and preservation efforts. Initial sponsors include: Kathy Benua, Chuck & Jeri Baron Feltner, Clif & Carolyn Haley, Anne O’Connell, Vern & Jackie Schatz (in memory of Nancy Ann Kreuger), and Richard Shoquist. Note: Step #28 is in memory of Founding Director and President Bob Jones, and Founding Director and Vice-President Jim Charles. Jeri Baron Feltner is project leader for this effort.
  • State flag that flew over the Capitol and Certificate donated to DRLPS in 2004 by Senator Jason Allen.
  • Antique 1930s GE electric stove donated to DRLPS by John & Dotty Witten of DeTour Village in 2004 and restored by Ken Walker and Dave Bardsley, and placed on the lighthouse in good working order.
  • DRLPS received a “State of Michigan Special Tribute from the Ninety-Second Legislature at Lansing” honoring the Society for their success in restoring the DeTour Reef Light, signed by Senator Jason Allen, Representative Scott Shackleton, and Governor Jennifer Granholm, dated November 2, 2004. The Tribute states in part: ..we honor the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society for their hard work and success in restoring the DeTour Reef Light. This volunteer, non-profit organization, has given numerous hours to preserving the lighthouse so that it may be enjoyed for generations to come. We are grateful to them and offer our best wishes for continued success. … this success is based on the unfailing dedication and determination of the volunteers, as well as the loyal support of lighthouse enthusiasts.”
  • Application for transfer of ownership of the lighthouse from the Federal government to DRLPS under the auspices of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 (NHLPA) was submitted to the National Park Service (NPS) on December 31, 2004. The detailed application was prepared by DRLPS volunteer team managed by Jeri Baron Feltner with Clif Haley, Chuck Feltner and Dave Bardsley and presented in a three-inch binder full of DRLPS good stuff! The NPS informed DRLPS that it was the best application they had received to date and planned to use it as the “example” for other entities interested in lighthouse ownership. The application was approved by the National Park Service in 2005.


  • Dave Bardsley elected by Directors as President #3 of DRLPS January 2005.
  • DeTour Reef Light placed on the National Register of Historic Places March 15, 2005. Application prepared by Dr. Dan Koski-Karell of the U.S. Coast Guard in Washington, with assistance from Jeri Baron Feltner.
  • Pier deck skylights rehabilitation grant from Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) received in 2005. Grant acquired and prepared by Chuck Feltner for MLAP funds of $4,200 and a DRLPS cash match of $2,100 to manufacture, install, and seal the eight pier deck skylights. Chuck Feltner was grant coordinator and project manager.
  • Furnishings at the lighthouse donated in 2005: Two small refrigerators by Dick Moehl, roll top desk by Azor Sheffield (restored by John Covell), bench (made by Ric Sawtelle), microwave by Clif & Carolyn Haley, desk chair, dresser with mirror and double bed and bed frames by Dave & Paula Bardsley, box springs and mattresses by Drummond Island Resort and Conference Center, bunk beds and mattresses by Camp Grayling-Col. Dean Brown-Base Commander, bunk bed ladders made by DeTour High School students, Carving knife donated by keepers, deck chairs by Jeri Baron Feltner and Joyce Buckley, antique double bed by Jim Charles, bathroom cabinet by Chuck & Jeri Baron Feltner, 3 concrete mooring blocks by Pat Kelly of Kelly Construction on Drummond Island, 2 bookcases from an old GM building donated by Larry Baron and Mario Mazzuca, silverware from Dick Moehl, DVD player by Ric Mixter, antique porcelain top kitchen cabinet by Darlene & Tom Chisholm, second antique porcelain top kitchen cabinet by Karen & John McClure, vacuum by John & Sunny Covell, white chairs by Karen McClure, antique wicker chairs by Tom & Lowell Williams. Subsequent donations include toaster by the keepers, puddingstone puzzle by the keepers, toaster by the keepers, U.S. Light-house Service replica dinnerware donated by Chuck & Jeri Baron Feltner (2011), flatware similar to the original U.S. Lighthouse Society had in the 1930s donated by John & Dotty Witten (2012). Wagner-Ware pots and pans from the 1930s donated by Chuck & Jeri Baron Feltner (2012).
  • Local high school students from DeTour Village and Drummond Island took furnishings to the lighthouse with teacher and DRLPS Youth Chairman Russ Norris and DRLPS President Dave Bardsley on May 14, 2005, included Tim Burkey, Nathan Tiefenbach, Ellis Tarr, CJ Spohn, Lacy Woods, and Matt Peterson (teacher) – using DRLPS member Kathy Benua’s boat.
  • Mihm Enterprises (Frank Mihm), the DRLPS contractor for the major exterior/interior restoration of the lighthouse, filed a lawsuit against DRLPS in 2005 for not providing access to usage of a barge during the restoration period as promised. Clif Haley and Dave Bardsley handled the lawsuit which cost DRLPS $15,000 to settle. DRLPS counter sued for Mihm’s failure to pay penalty charges for late completion of the project. Both suits were settled out of court without payments to either party.
  • Received a $15,000 contribution to the DRLPS Endowment Maintenance Fund from Paul Schaap who won a trip for four on a Lake freighter donated to the DRLPS by the Interlake Steamship Company May 2005.
  • Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation for 2005 presented to the DRLPS at the State Capitol May 19, 2005. Event was attended by DRLPS team members Dave & Paula Bardsley, Chuck & Jeri Baron Feltner, and Clif Haley. Jeri accepted the award on behalf of all the dedicated DRLPS team members. The award states: “This 2005 Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation is presented to the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society for the determination, cooperative spirit, and perseverance of its members, who took up the challenge of rehabilitating one of Michigan’s picturesque, yet remote, off-shore lighthouses and put it back into service as a tourist destination.”
  • Jeri Baron Feltner retires from her positions as Director and Secretary in 2005 and is named Founding Director Emeritus by the Board of Directors. She will continue to help the DRLPS whenever possible.
  • Paula Bardsley takes over as DRLPS Database Chair in 2005 from Jeri Baron Feltner who established the first database in 1998 using Avery Label Pro software. Paula transferred the previous information to Microsoft Access database software program and will provide updates regularly.
  • DeTour Reef Light photo appeared on the cover of the 2005 Drummond Island Business Directory.
  • Tours and lighthouse keeper overnight stay programs at the lighthouse began July 2005. Programs were developed by Dave Bardsley with assistance from Chuck Feltner and other lighthouse groups (e.g., Grand Traverse Lighthouse). First people to sign up to Tour the Light in 2005: Clark Butterfield, Becky & Patric Farrell, Mary & Barbara Dinneweth, Pat Kipley, Ron & Pat Wells, John & Sonny Covell, Debbie Roark, Lori Brubaker, Dave Maue, Jake & Gloria Toering, Joanne Bonds, George Meyer, Rudy & Rosemary Seichter, Carl & Mrs. Copple, Troy & Bev Holland, Joanne & Mike Boedy, Debbie Roark and Gary Riemenschneider. First people to sign up to be overnight Keepers of the Light in 2005: Nancy Gertz, Robert Sperling, Matt Sawyer, Sheila Davis, Marc & Jill Vander Meulen, Greg Holcombe, Judy Mills, Andrew Mills, Ren & Gail Farley, Judy Dolney, and Mike Hershberger (see Mike’s article in Lighthouse Digest Oct 2005).
  • Presentation on restoration of the DRL made by Chuck Feltner at the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History conference held in Tobermory, Ontario, in September 2005.
  • Presentation on restoration of the DRL made by Chuck Feltner at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality conference held at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon MI in October 2005.


  • Concrete mooring blocks (3) to be used at the lighthouse to secure visiting boats were made and donated by Pat Kelly of Kelly Excavating of Drummond Island in May 2006, and were placed at the lighthouse by Denny Bailey of Drummond Island Yacht Haven who donated his equipment and services in June 2006. Dave Bardsley was manager of this project with assistance from Chuck Feltner.
  • TV Channel 9&10 News broadcasted live from the DeTour Reef Light on June 1, 2006, for their “Michigan This Morning Show.” Chuck Feltner came up with the idea of installing a video cam on the lighthouse, and he and Dave Bardsley helped make it a reality. Participating from 9&10 were Corey Adkins, Ted Halley, and Lowell Shore. A weather cam was temporarily installed on the lighthouse.
  • DRLPS received the Superior Award from the Historical Society of Michigan (HSM) at the HSM 2006 Upper Peninsula History Conference in Escanaba on June 24, 2006. Chuck Feltner & Jeri Baron Feltner attended to accept the award on behalf of the DRLPS dedicated volunteers. Jeri Baron Feltner obtained the application and submitted it to honor the DRLPS team’s work in restoring and preserving the DeTour Reef Light. The Superior Award was established in 2006 to honor historical societies, museums, and other historical organizations in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for their efforts to preserve and promote UP history. The HSM recognized DRLPS for the local grass-roots organization’s outstanding efforts to preserve and promote Upper Peninsula history exemplifying dedication and community spirit, with the restoration, preservation, and promotion of the DeTour Reef Light and advancing appreciation of Eastern Upper Peninsula maritime history. The HSM stated: “The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society’s remarkable efforts in only eight years exemplify the dedication and community spirit for which the UP is renowned.”
  • Susan Ager, Detroit Free Press reporter, visited the lighthouse as a weekend keeper and wrote an extensive article for the newspaper about her stay in July 2006. Spiders were a problem, but the DRLPS had them exterminated the next week and now do so as regular scheduled maintenance each spring via donated services from Steve Gilbert of Drummond Island.
  • Former U.S. Coast Guard lighthouse keeper Milton Lovett stepped onto the DeTour Reef Light for the first time in 48 years in August 2006. He served on the lighthouse from 1958- 1959 as Engineman 3rd Class. Dave Bardsley and Chuck Feltner accompanied him on this special trip.
  • DRLPS Honorary Director and longtime supporter Jim Woodward was named Keeper of the Quarter by the U.S. Lighthouse Society in July 2006.
  • Dr. Charles Feltner, Restoration Chairman and Past President of DRLPS, received the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History 2006 Award for Historic Preservation at the AGLMH annual meeting on September 23, 2006 in Alpena. The award was in acknowledgement of his work with Great Lakes’ shipwrecks and lighthouse research, restoration and preservation.


  • DRLPS received the Old Mission Bank Community Pride Award on April 15, 2007 in Sault Ste Marie. DRLPS Vice-president Dave Bardsley accepted the award on behalf of the DRLPS volunteers and members. In the award letter Old Mission Bank’s President and CEO, David Firack, wrote “the DRLPS’s efforts to serve the needs of our citizens and to create new opportunities for our children and grandchildren to live and prosper within our Eastern Upper Peninsula community are appreciated.”
  • Jim Charles, founding Director and Vice-President of DRLPS, passed away on April 11, 2007. He was a well-respected and dedicated volunteer who worked assiduously to keep the Light on for all!
  • Over the winter of 2006 and 2007, the DeTour Reef Light crib model was handcrafted by DRLPS volunteer John Covell in the basement of his home in Belmont, Michigan, with steadfast support from his wife and partner Sunny Covell. The idea was originally conceived by Chuck Feltner and he provided assistance to John. The wooden crib model measures 5’ wide by 5’ long by 2’ high and was placed on display in May 2007 in the basement of the lighthouse for all to enjoy. The DRL is a unique example of the crib foundation lighthouse type. It sits atop a 60’ by 60’ square by 22’ tall box-like wooden crib built with 180,000 board feet of lumber. The original crib was assembled onshore at DeTour Village in 1930 and towed to the lighthouse’s designated location three miles from the assembly location. Once there, it was sunk onto a 75’ by 75’ square leveled bed of crushed rock. The crib’s interior compartments were filled with rock and the outer ones with concrete. Additional concrete was poured around its base forming an apron, and rock riprap was placed on top and beyond the concrete apron to further protect the structure. Co-tour leaders John and Sunny Covell provided an excellent narration while John showed off his prideful work at the lighthouse.
  • DRLPS was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP), using $15,000 DRLPS matching cash funds, in 2007 for fabrication and installation of the second pier deck crane on the lighthouse. Application acquired and prepared by Clif Haley with assistance from Chuck Feltner. Don Gries was project manager with assistance from Dave Bardsley, Denny Bailey, Ed Clark, and Meade Gable. Project was completed in 2008. See Passages issues #12 and #14.
  • NPR national radio program All Things Considered was aired May 30, 2007, by Peter Payette on the subject “Great Lakes Lighthouses: Beacons for Tourism.” Interviewed in person by Peter were DRLPS volunteers Chuck Feltner, Clif Haley, and Dick Moehl, discussing the unresolved bottomland agreement issues for transfer of lighthouse ownership to the DRLPS. Also interviewed was Skip Pruss, Deputy Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, stating that the State cannot waive the bottomland agreement requirements, noting that they are dictated by State law. DRLPS member Chris Pemberton arranged for Chuck Feltner to set up this interview.
  • Sandy Wytiaz elected by Directors as a Director to fill vacancy May 2007.
  • Don Gries elected by Directors as a Director June 2007.
  • DeTour Area Schools student welders Brandon Barrette and Andy Dyal, guided by welding shop teacher Brian Nettleton, construct ladders for the two bunk beds in the assistant keepers’ room.
  • Dick Moehl, Founding Director, resigns from the DRLPS Board and is named Founding Director Emeritus December 2007.
  • Ann Method Green was elected by Directors as Director to fill vacancy December 2007. Jeri Baron Feltner recruited Ann as PR chair in 2006.
  • John and Sunny Covell are elected by Directors to be Tour Program Co-Chairs in 2007 to provide guided narrated tours on the lighthouse.
  • Mary Rogers, founding member in 1998, retires as Membership Chairperson December 2007 and was presented with an award for her ten years of dedicated service to the DRLPS.
  • Paula Bardsley, member since 2002, retires as Assistant Secretary and recorder of the Board of Directors meeting minutes since 2004, and was presented an award for her outstanding service at the Annual Meeting in December 2007. Paula continues as Membership Chairperson and Database Manager (and contributes so much more!).


  • Matt Sawyer elected by Directors as DRLPS Webmaster in January 2008.
  • Sheila Sawyer Passages Newsletter editor in January 2008.
  • Russ Norris elected by Directors as DRLPS President #4 in January 2008.
  • DRLPS awarded a $30,000 Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program grant (with $15,000 matching funds from DRLPS) for fabrication and installation of the second pier deck crane. Clif Haley prepared the application with Chuck Feltner’s assistance, and Don Gries was project director, with assistance from Dave Bardsley. Help with installation was also received from Denny Bailey, Ed Clark, and Meade Gable. Installation was completed in 2008.
  • DRLPS was awarded a $20,000 grant in May 2008 from Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program with $10,000 matching funds from DRLPS for rehabilitation and installation of the original F-2-T diaphone foghorn, replicate air storage tanks and piping, fabricate non- functional diaphone, and moisture control surrounding amplifier cones. Don Gries prepared this application and was the project director until his untimely death in December 2009 whereupon Chuck Feltner took over as project director. Project was completed in August 2010 by DRLPS contractors UP Engineers & Architects (Ken Czapski), and Mihm Enterprises (Frank Mihm), and the restored foghorn was first sounded by Chuck Feltner on August 27, 2010.
  • John Covell had six historic photos (mostly from the Woodward Collection courtesy Jeri Baron Feltner Collection) professionally framed and matted at a cost of $830 in 2008. John worked on enhancing these photos with Photoshop, and Harbor View Framing of DeTour Village did the professional matting and framing. These photos will be shown in traveling displays, and housed at the DeTour Area Schools Library for citizens to enjoy.
  • Janelle Dudeck of DeTour Village elected as Director to the DRLPS Board of Directors and elected as Secretary in 2008 to fill the vacancy by Glenn Lahti who passed away.
  • DRLPS logo revised in 2008 by Bill Boyd of Canton MI who donated his services.
  • DRLPS had a gala celebration in August 2008 to celebrate keeping the Light On for 10 years. Over 120 people attended. Jeri Baron Feltner and Sandy Wytiaz were co-chairs of the event, and Sandy donated the dinner. Chuck Feltner arranged for eight former Lighthouse keepers (from the period of 1958 to 1968) to attend where they were interviewed and filmed about their experiences on the DRL: Gene “Andy” Anderson, Floyd “Boats” Colvin, John “JP” Gretka, Marvin “Blackie” Kurkierewicz, Gerard “Jerry the Owl” Livingston, Eric “Ole” Olsen, Robert “Ski” Soldenski, and James “Willy” Williams. The event was filmed by DRLPS member Larry Baron, DeTour High School student Philip Hartman (assisted by teacher Russ Norris), and Don Stefanski filmed the keeper interviews moderated by Chuck Feltner.
  • DRLPS first Photo Contest was held in 2008 and the winner announced at the 10th anniversary celebration in August 2008 – Grand Prize was awarded to Judy Mills of Coopersville MI. The contest was arranged and managed by Ann Method Green.


  • DRL Video update organized by Dave Bardsley in 2009 included video input from Byron Goggin of Gameday productions in 2008. DRLPS paid $900 for limited rights to the 15- minute clip which will be added to the DRL video.
  • Plaster and paint repair to damaged areas of lighthouse interior walls was conducted on the DRL in 2009 by Drummond Island Yacht Haven (Denny Bailey) at a cost of $13,522. Dave Bardsley was project manager.
  • Dave Bardsley is elected by Directors as President (his second term) in December 2009.
  • Don Gries Director and Preservation Chair of Drummond Island passed away December 26, 2009. Don was dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the lighthouse and was involved in many capacities to keep the Light on.


  • Brian Nettleton elected by Directors as Preservation Chair and Director to fill vacancy March 2010.
  • Electronic bird repeller installed on the lighthouse in spring 2010 to keep the pier deck clean of bird droppings and reduce wear and tear of the deck caused by power washing. It uses the recorded sounds of gull predators and gulls in distress to discourage the birds from landing on the lighthouse. It works great! Clif Haley suggested this devise and Dave Bardsley was the project leader.
  • Resolution of the historic Michigan Bottomlands’ Use Agreement for offshore lighthouses was obtained on May 28, 2010. This was a significant effort and the final piece of society work for DRLPS to enable obtaining ownership of the lighthouse, along with helping other lighthouse groups with offshore lighthouses. Key players who worked diligently and determinedly to successfully negotiate a finalized agreement included DRLPS volunteer legal authority and leader of the project Clif Haley assisted by Dave Bardsley, along with Buzz Hoerr (of the Michigan Lighthouse Alliance), and facilitator Carol Linteau of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, along with the State Historic Preservation Office (Brian Conway and Bryan Lijewski and staff). Board members Bob Jones, Dick Moehl, Chuck Feltner, and Jeri Baron Feltner did some early research work related to the bottomland issue. The official transfer of ownership of the lighthouse and the formal presentation of the approved Bottomlands Use Agreement was made at the Great Lakes Lighthouse Preservation Conference in Traverse City on June 17, 2010, where Clif Haley gave an informative presentation outlining the long and arduous task involved in solving the major bottomlands’ use issue in order to assist in the process of the lighthouse ownership transfer for the DeTour Reef Light and Harbor Beach Light and other Michigan offshore lighthouses. The Michigan Bottomlands’ Use Agreement is a landmark decision that will help other groups who own offshore lighthouses throughout the United States. The Agreement was signed on May 28, 2010, by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Chief, Land and Water Management Division, Elizabeth Browne, and DRLPS President David Bardsley.
  • On June 17, 2010, the DRLPS team (represented by Dave Bardsley and Clif Haley) was officially presented the hard-earned deed and ceremonial key to the DeTour Reef Light Station from the U.S. Coast Guard and General Services Administration, and ownership of the lighthouse was transferred from the Federal Government to the DRLPS at the Great Lakes Lighthouse Preservation Conference organized by the Michigan Lighthouse Alliance held at the Maritime Academy in Traverse City. Other DRLPS team members present at the conference included: John and Sunny Covell, Chuck and Jeri Baron Feltner, and Ann Method Green. The Deed was officially signed by the federal government General Services Administration on June 20, 2010.
  • DRLPS was designated a Preserve America Steward by First Lady Michelle Obama in August 2010 “in recognition of its preservation of the DeTour Reef Light, with appreciation for the efforts of its volunteers in preserving cultural resources for the benefit of present and future generations.” The application was acquired and prepared by Ann Method Green. Two special responses were received from the national lighthouse community: Cullen Chambers (nationally-recognized preservationist from Tybee Island GA): “I am not surprised that you received this outstanding recognition. DRLPS’ successful efforts set the standard – actually exceed the standards – in the preservation community. Much deserved and some of the rest of us need to follow your model project in order to meet your high standards.” And from Bob Trapani (Executive Director of the American Lighthouse Foundation in Maine): “A designation and recognition like this, which is a huge honor for the DeTour Reef Lighthouse and its dedicated volunteers, serves as a national “thank you” for a job well done. This project, which I know was nothing short of a labor of love for all involved, was a string of achievements over a decade long, which one by one, culminated in what I believe to be the finest offshore restoration and adaptive reuse project in the nation. So for DRLPS to receive a Preserve America Steward designation for DeTour Reef Lighthouse is not only fitting, but it also serves as a crown jewel of recognition for the Light’s amazing keepers. Congratulations!”
  • The Sara Williams Parish Foundation (Cleveland, Rebecca H. Dent, Co-Trustee) awarded the DRLPS a $1,500 grant in September 2010 towards the DRLPS endowment account for lighthouse maintenance.


  • Ann Method Green elected by Directors as President #5 of the DRLPS in January 2011.
  • Plaster and paint patch up work was done at the DRL in 2011 volunteer Robert Sperling (who was one of the first participants of the lighthouse keeper program in 2005).
  • DRLPS erected a billboard sign Visit the DeTour Reef Light – Overnight Keeper Programs, Summer Tours, Sponsored by the DRLPS a Preserve America Steward www.VisitTheLight.org with a great photo of the lighthouse on I-75 north of Gaylord in the fall of 2011. Chuck Feltner initiated the idea, and Ann Method Green and Matt Sawyer managed the project. DRLPS directors decided to not renew the billboard contract in 2012 due to the $5,000 per year cost.

  • Mike Horton joins the DRLPS team in 2011 as Overnight Keeper Program Vice-Chair assisting Dave Bardsley.


  • Joe Henne joined the DRLPS team in 2012 to work on special projects including working with student memberships and volunteer coordination and recognition.
  • Joan Meyers joined the DRLPS team as Newsletter Passages editor 2012.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Sault Ste. Marie Sector introduces its new logo in 2012 featuring the DeTour Reef Light Station.
  • On May 15, 2012, the U.S. Coast Guard replaced the VRB-25 marine beacon on the DeTour Reef Light Station with an Eight-Tier VLB-44 marine beacon in the lantern. The DRL’s VRB-25, as well as two smaller beacons (from other aids to navigation), were donated to the DRLPS and are on display in the Lighthouse.
  • Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) grant application for lighthouse water ingress repair and remediation acquired and prepared November 2012 by Jeri Baron Feltner with assistance from Chuck Feltner, Brian Nettleton, and Ken Czapski (Sanders & Czapski Associates of Marquette) for $60,000 grant funds and $30,000 matching DRLPS funds. The DRL has sustained significant damage to the interior walls and ceiling due to water ingress over the past several years necessitating repair of the roof, watch room deck, interior ceiling and walls, and to insure prevention of further water damage to the structure. Note Grant approval was received in June 2013, but DRLPS is awaiting a signed agreement in order to begin the work in the spring 2014.
  • DRLPS contracted Elegant Seagulls of Marquette MI to redesign website for $5,000. Ann Method Green is project manager with assistance from Matt Sawyer.


  • The Michigan Historic Preservation Network’s Citizen Award application nominating Dave Bardsley was prepared and submitted to MHPN by Ann Method Green, and Dave was selected by the MHPN in April 2013 for his dedicated work in promoting the preservation of the DeTour Reef Light since 2002. The Citizen Award is given once a year 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.” Formal presentation of this award was made by the MHPN in Marquette on May 10, 2013, attended by Dave & Paula Bardsley, John & Sunny Covell, and Ann Method Green.
  • Jeri Baron Feltner won First Place in the Michigan Lighthouse Guide 2013 Photo Contest with a photo she took of the DeTour Reef Light Station in 2008.
  • Clarke Historical Library (CHL) at Central Michigan University in Midland MI was chosen as the DRLPS archival storage depository of DRLPS and DRL historical material at a Board meeting on July 20, 2013, and an agreement signed on August 13, 2013. Jeri Baron Feltner worked with CHL Director Frank Boles on establishing the archival material criteria that will include DRL 1930-31 engineering drawings, historic photographs, correspondence, and logbooks, along with over 100 binders and several hundred file folders of DRLPS material developed since the Society’s establishment in 1998 which includes corporate documents, correspondence, administrative and financial documents, restoration and educational grant files, fundraising information, award certificates team members information and photos, the USCG 20-year lease document, the National Register for Historic Places document, National Lighthouse Preservation Act for transfer of lighthouse ownership from the federal government to DRLPS material, membership and tour-keeper brochures, meeting minutes, newsletter Passages, magazine and newspaper articles, bottomlands agreement, presentations given, memorabilia information, former lighthouse keepers information, tour and keeper program information, video and film of the DRL prior, during and after restoration, videos of former keeper interviews, other major people interviews, film of DRLPS functions, DRL Fresnel lens and foghorn information, etc. (see list of items stored at CHL prepared on 9-24-2013 by Jeri Baron Feltner).
  • John & Sunny Covell, co-chairs of the Tour Program since 2006, retired on July 26, 2013. They have been very dedicated volunteers over the past seven years in many capacities including as tour guides, restoration of the antique desk at the lighthouse, working with historical photographs and drawings with Adobe Photo Shop, assisting at DRLPS functions, and much more.
  • DeTour Reef Light Station Michigan Historical Marker erected on M-134 in DeTour Village and dedicated on September 28, 2013. Application was acquired and prepared December 2012 by Jeri Baron Feltner for DRLPS to the Michigan History Foundation of the Michigan Department of Transportation to manufacturer and place a Marker at the first place the DRL is sighted from the shoreline along M-134 five miles west of DeTour Village at a scenic turn-off property owned by MDOT. The Marker text was prepared by Jeri Baron Feltner with assistance from Dave Bardsley, Chuck Feltner, and Ann Method Green, and reviewed by the Michigan Historical Commission. Marker approval was received in June 2013, and the Marker was installed on September 26, 2013, by Dave Bardsley with donated services of X- Factor Construction of DeTour Village (Matt Schultz & Duane Barbeaux). DeTour- Drummond Building Center (Ron Hill) of DeTour Village took delivery of the marker.Unveiling and dedication of the Marker took place at the marker site on September 28, with Michigan Historical Commissioner Tom Truscott giving the dedication to a gathering of over 50 people. Tom stated “The hard work and dedication in restoring the DeTour Reef Light was the most outstanding preservation project I’ve had the honor of dedicating. The DeTour Reef Light Station has played a vital role in the history of not only our country but the freedom of the world. My heart goes out to all of you in the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society for your unselfish efforts.” The Marker designates the DeTour Reef Light Station as a Michigan Historic Site #2252 and honors the DeTour Reef Light Station as a significant part of Michigan’s history as an important and educational part of local and state history. The 42” x 54” aluminum casting marker was manufactured by Sewah Studios in Marietta OH at a cost to the DRLPS, sponsor of the Marker, of $4,560, and is the property of the State of Michigan. Marker project donors included Patricia Lehman Anderson $50, Dave & Paula Bardsley $40, former keeper Floyd Colvin $100 (in memory of former keeper Don Ashley who was the only keeper to die while serving at the lighthouse), former keeper John Decenzo $20, Chuck & Jeri Baron Feltner $174, Dick Moehl $200 (Total $584). Former keeper Don Ashley’s brothers Harry & Mike Ashley of Ohio attended the dedication ceremony, along with former keeper Floyd Colvin of Sault Ste Marie. Celebration of the Marker was held at the Mainsail Restaurant in DeTour Village along with celebrating the DRLPS 15th anniversary. A State sign will be placed by the Michigan Department of Transportation near the Marker site on M- 134 in both directions in the spring of 2014.
  • DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society celebrates its 15th year anniversary (1998-2013). A gathering was held at the Mainsail Restaurant in DeTour Village to honor this occasion in conjunction with the dedication of the Historical Marker on September 28, 2013.
  • Presentation about the DeTour Reef Light given to the Sault Tribe Elder’s meeting at Lake Superior State University by Ann Method Green and Joe Henne in October 2013.


  • Sandy Wytiaz of DeTour Village (DRLPS Director since 2007) passed away on April 28, 2014. She was very active as Vice-President, Memorabilia Co-chair, and fundraising events.
  • Presentation made by DRLPS members Chuck & Jeri Baron Feltner at the Michigan Lighthouse Alliance Conference in Traverse City on May 23, 2014 on Sustaining Volunteers: Recruiting, Guiding, Motivating and Retaining the Lifeblood of the Organization for Continued Success in Lighthouse Restoration.
  • Mihm Enterprises (Hamilton MI) won the bid at $74,412 in May 2014 for the refurbishing of the lighthouse with the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) Grant for rehabilitation of DeTour Reef Light from moisture damage, repair roof, structure interior plaster and paint, and watchroom deck floor leak. Work was completed in the fall of 2014.
  • The United States Lighthouse Society (California) operated a cruise with lighthouse enthusiasts from around the country that sailed by the DeTour Reef Light (for the first time) on June 19, 2014. DRLPS charter boat Capt. Meade Gable blew the foghorn as the group toured around the lighthouse.
  • Shepler Ferry Service (Mackinaw City/St. Ignace/Mackinac Island) put a photo of the DeTour Reef Light on the cover of their 2014 Lighthouse Cruise Brochure.
  • Former Keeper of the DRL Ronald E. Freels, born 8/20/1936, passed away on 6/6/2014. He was a Boatswain’s Mate for the USCG on the DRL in 1965-1966. Ron was interviewed/ videotaped in 1999 by the DRLPS (Jeri Baron Feltner and Mike Spears) and again in 2004 (Dave Bardsley and Ric Mixter) where he enthusiastically recounted, with a twinkle in his eye, his experiences on the lighthouse.
  • A special DRLPS award was presented to Clif Haley at the annual fundraiser Evening Under the Stars on July 13, 2014, for his 15 years of valued volunteer service as MC of Stars and acknowledging his extraordinary efforts with DRLPS restoration grants, legal counsel, Michigan bottomlands use agreement resolution, and much more since 2000. The crystal star award was presented by Jeri Baron Feltner on behalf of the DRLPS Team.
  • Former Keeper Marvin F. Kurkierewicz, born 1/25/1941, passed away on 10/21/2014. Marv was a career Coast Guardsman and worked at the DRL in 1963 as a Fireman and Machinery Technician. He attended the DRLPS 10th Anniversary Celebration in DeTour Village in 2008 where he shared stories of his work on the lighthouse.
  • Ann Method Green was elected by Directors as President (her 4th term). Other officers elected were Dave Bardsley (VP & Treasurer), and Janelle Dudeck (Secretary).


  • Directors Denny Bailey (1998) and Clif Haley (2000) retired from the Board of Directors May 2015. Sheila Powell and Hallie Wilson were elected by Directors to fill the Denny Bailey/Clif Haley vacancies until a vote can be held by the DRLPS general membership when Denny and Clif’s terms expire.
  • Janelle Dudeck resigns as Director and Secretary (since 2008).
  • Dotty Witten resigns as Memorabilia Chair (since 2000).
  • Director Sheila Powell passed away on July 27, 2015.
  • President Ann Method Green 5th term ends (2011 to 2015).
  • DRLPS Founding Director Dick Moehl passed away on December 28, 2015.


  • Joe Henne, elected DRLPS 6th President. Other officers include: Dave Bardsley Treasurer, and Hallie Wilson Secretary.
  • DRLPS Father’s Day Boat Cruise ends its annual run after 18 years.