Second DeTour Reef Light Deck Crane Project Funded With Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program Grant

Deck Crane

The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) has received a grant from the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) to replicate the second deck crane at the DeTour Reef Light. The $30,000 grant award for fiscal year 2007 requires matching funds of $15,000 from the DRLPS.DRL Deck Crane

The first crane restoration which began in 1999 was funded by a similar grant thru MLAP and was the first restoration project undertaken by the DRLPS. The grant application to restore the deck crane on the lighthouse was submitted by Jeri Baron Feltner and was completed in August, 2001 by L&B Builders of Drummond Island. Chuck Feltner was project director.

Large pieces of the original crane and the builder’s plate were discovered underwater near the lighthouse by divers Mike Spears, Chris Pemberton, Garey Eilertson, and Dock Borth and were used in the construction of the first crane. DeTour High School students, along with their teachers Brian Nettleton and Russ Norris, assisted in computer design drawings of the crane.

The new second deck crane grant application was submitted by Clif Haley and the project director is Don Gries, both DRLPS volunteers. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2008. ”The DRLPS is excited to be able to restore the second deck crane. We are grateful for the MLAP funding and appreciate the support of the State Historic Preservation Office,” said Don.

MLAP, administered by the State Historic Preservation Office, is funded by proceeds from the sale of the State’s “Save our Lights” specialty license plates. Lighthouse grants are given to state and local governments or nonprofit organizations that are maintaining or restoring lighthouses. Recipients must provide 50 percent of the grant award as matching funds. Since the establishment of the program by the Michigan Legislature in 1999 to assist local groups in preserving and protecting lighthouses, more than $985,000 has been awarded. The grant program arose from a concern about the disposal of over two-thirds of the lighthouses in Michigan by the U.S. Coast Guard and was established to assist in the preservation, rehabilitation and protection of these lighthouses.