Want to live in a Michigan lighthouse for two weeks? Now's your chance. | Michigan Radio
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Want to live in a Michigan lighthouse for two weeks? Now's your chance.

Dec 4, 2018

If you are looking for an unusual summer vacation, think about applying to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as a temporary lighthouse keeper.

The Tawas Point Lighthouse off the shores of Lake Huron is accepting applications for spring and summer through February 1, 2019. 

"There's something about lighthouses. People love lighthouses. And to get the opportunity to live in one for two weeks," said Hillary Pine, the northern Lower Peninsula historian with the DNR and the Michigan History Center. "People just love it."

Pine said the Tawas Point Lighthouse tower rises about 65 feet above the ground and overlooks Tawas Bay.

"You can go up with your cup of coffee in the morning and watch the sunrise," said Pine. "Or you can go up and watch the sunset. And that's not something the general public gets the opportunity to do."

Lighthouse keepers are given two weeks lodging in the second-story quarters of the historic lighthouse keeper's dwelling. The accomodations overlook the shores of Lake Huron and include two bedrooms, a modern kitchen, and shower and bath.

In exchange, the lighthouse keepers need to pay $75 and work for about 70 hours over two consecutive weeks. The work involves light maintenance and guiding visitors.

Applicants must be 18 or older and need to be able to climb the 85 step tower as a regular part of their daily tours.

Pine said the DNR is aiming for teams of two to four adults.

According to Pine, there isn't enough money in DNR's budget for full-time lighthouse guides. She said the volunteer lighthouse keepers make it possible to keep the lighthouse open all week.

The application and more information about the Tawas Point Lighthouse Keeper Program are available here. 

Pine said other lighthouses have similar programs and information can be found on the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers website.