Charity Island Light Restoration

$675 of $400,000 goal

Raised by 10 people in 21 months

Put into service in 1857, the Big Charity Island Light played an important role in the history of this region by keeping ships off the hazardous limestone reefs at the northern entrance to Saginaw Bay.

The main goal of this fundraising effort is to restore the Light tower to its original condition to honor the Lightkeepers and their families who served on Charity Island and to keep it accessible for the general public and future generations, to be used as a safe and educational historic landmark.

The Light has proven to be a significant economic asset to the communities on both sides of Saginaw Bay, drawing over 30,000 visitors to the Island since the ferry service began in 2005.

The original light, a fourth order Fresnel Lens, was fueled by oil, then later by kerosene,  before its final conversion to acetylene gas in 1917.  This made it one of the first  on the Great Lakes to be automated using a gas valve, developed by Swedish Nobel Laureate, Nils Gustave Dalen.

Ownership of the tower was severed from the Keeper's quarters in 1924 when the federal government sold the entire Island to a local fishing company.  They kept only the tower on three acres as a navigational aid.

The tower was decommissioned in 1939  when it was replaced by the then newly constructed Gravelly Shoals light. 

Since then its condition has steadily deteriorated due to its exposed location, lack of maintenance, and vandalism.

Now, 92 years later, the tower has been reunited with the Keeper's quarters into a single property allowing this restoration effort to begin.

This Light has a unique history and is an important remnant of our maritime history in Saginaw Bay, worthy of the effort to preserve it.

Recently Mihm Enterprises, a Michigan contracting company with extensive experience in historic restoration completed an estimate on the cost to put the tower back in its original condition.  They have worked on 16 other lighthouse projects in the Great Lakes and received 4 Governors Awards for Historic Preservation.

The cost of the restoration effort is currently estimated at $350,000 to  $400,000.   

We hope to have enough funds raised by the spring of 2017 to begin meaningful restoration work which is projected to take  2 years.
+ Read More
Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.

$675 of $400,000 goal

Raised by 10 people in 21 months
Created October 24, 2016
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
Chelsea Schwab
3 months ago

In memory of my mom, Cindy Stolz, on her birthday today, April 5th. As a family, we loved coming here, and this lighthouse will always hold a special place in my heart.

5 months ago
Cindy Wheeler
21 months ago

Great project. Hope to get to see Charity Island next summer.

Thomas Carriveau
21 months ago

Itwill be awesome to have the light tower restored!

Michelle Boccaccio
21 months ago

Awesome project and an awesome place!

Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.
Or, use your email…
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.