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Lighthouse Keepers Wanted in Michigan

Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association Taking Applications

Fred R. White passes St. Helena LighthouseIn a wonderful opportunity to experience life as a lighthouse keeper, and do your share towards preservation, the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA) is once again offering an opportunity to volunteer at one of their two lighthouses. Both lights are in northern lower Michigan, and you will not find a better opportunity anywhere to live in a lighthouse. Although this is a working vacation, the work isn’t hard. And with a view like that seen in the photo at the left, it wouldn’t be hard to convince me to sign up. Information below from Terry Pepper, Executive Director of GLLKA.

Cheboygan River Front Range Light

Lake Huron, Michigan

86 Cheboygan River Front Range L

Located just a short walk from downtown Cheboygan, this lighthouse remains the focus of a major restoration effort. Even as the work continues, GLLKA recruits volunteer couples to live in the lighthouse on weekends from Memorial Day through the end of October to keep it open for tours, operate the gift shop, and perform housekeeping and minor maintenance. As an added bonus, volunteers also conduct interior tours of the old Cheboygan Crib Light.

Volunteers will stay in bedrooms on the second floor of the lighthouse, with full bathroom and shower facilities and a small kitchenette located on the main floor. A number of excellent restaurants are also located within walking distance or a short drive from the lighthouse.

There is no charge for this opportunity; however, volunteers must be GLLKA members to participate. A family membership costs $50.00 and can be purchased in the online store on the GLLKA website, or by calling our office.

St. Helena Island Lighthouse

Lake Michigan, Michigan

St. Helena Lighthouse, Michigan

Serving as a volunteer at the St. Helena Island Lighthouse offers a unique opportunity to experience life as it was lived at an offshore lighthouse circa 1900. Without electricity, indoor plumbing, or the intrusion of telephones, television and the Internet, life quickly becomes simpler and more meaningful than anything you have likely experienced previously. Volunteer keeper openings for 2009 are available from mid June through mid August, with tours of duty ranging from a minimum of 5 days during the entire 2 month period, based on the volunteer’s availability. Positions are open to singles, couples and families; however any children must be at least 8 years of age to participate.

Volunteers will be transported by boat from Mackinaw City to St. Helena Island and will spend their entire tour of duty on the island before being returned to Mackinaw City. Duties can run the gamut from painting, cooking, sanding, washing dishes, cleaning, hand-pumping and carrying water, serving as tour guide to clearing brush and weeds. An experienced keeper will be on site throughout your entire stay to offer guidance and assistance. There will be ample time for leisurely activities. The sunsets and sunrises are beautiful beyond description.

Cost for the program is $75.00 to cover transportation costs to and from the Island from Mackinaw City, and $12.00 per day for food and incidentals. Volunteers must also be GLLKA members in order to participate. A family membership costs $50.00 and can be purchased in the online store on the GLLKA website, or by calling our office.

How To Apply

For additional information on these volunteer opportunities, contact the GLLKA office at:

GLLKA, P.O. Box 219, Mackinaw City, MI 49701
Phone: (231) 436-5580

Photo Credits:

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  1. 16 Comment(s)

  2. By Jean Smith on Aug 25, 2009 | Reply

    I am interested in assisting with the volunteer program for lighthouse keepers in Michigian spring, supper or fall of 2010.

  3. By narayanasamy on Nov 26, 2009 | Reply

    want lightkeeper job cont No.+919360427398,+919965155560

  4. By Robyn Randall on Jul 16, 2010 | Reply

    Would you please send me information concerning current jobs available. I am very interested !!!!!

  5. By Todd Rankin Sr on Aug 11, 2010 | Reply

    Hi there I am interested in volunteer program for lighthouse keepers jobs send me more information on the jobs my name is Todd A. Rankin Sr I live at 2327 S. Turner Rd Austintown Ohio,44515 my phone number is 330-261-9368

  6. By Jim Dix on Aug 22, 2010 | Reply

    My wife and I are interested in working for the next season. Please respond. :smile:

  7. By cythia lewko-vermetten on Aug 28, 2010 | Reply

    august 27th 2010: i wish to live in a lighthouse. to that end, i’d welcome any requests for needed volunteers, or if a position requires a “couple” and there exists another idividual whom would consider me to be the other person to form the couple i would be deeply appreciative. i do not have too many remaining years in which to fulfill this dream venture, thus anyone with either offers or suggestions please post the same at my email:

  8. By Denise Klipstein on Sep 1, 2010 | Reply

    Hi, there are 5 of us. My son, myself, my daughter-in-law , and my 2 year old grandson, and my 14 year old dog, Rambo. we are looking for something to get us out of the city and working in a lighthouse sounds like such a perfect little retreat from the city. We would be willing to do it year round. Please, please get in touch with me. we need the peace and the serenety that doing something like this would bring.

  9. By Gardy Espinosa on Oct 7, 2010 | Reply

    They are already the one who is looking for workers. This will be a great chance for the interested applicants.

  10. By sakkie Meissenheim on Jul 13, 2011 | Reply

    Need a Job Please Contact Me
    Any Oppertunity Would Be Appreciated
    Thank You
    Kind Regaards
    Sakkie Meissenheimer
    +27713363600 :oops:

  11. By jackie monasmith on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    My husband and I visited the Tawas Light House last year and visited with the innkeepers at that time, who had been there for a week. We would be interrested in being innkeepers at one of the Michigan Light Houses. Our schedule is vairly open. Please reply with list of lighthouses that still need innkeepers for the 2011 season. Jackie

  12. By tERRIE wEISNER on Apr 26, 2012 | Reply

    I am a Recreation and Parks major with a B.S. degree from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C. I am very used to being by myself and prefer my life this way. I enjoy my animals, reading and writing my journals.
    Thank you,
    Terrie Weisner

  13. By Bonnie Potts on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Hello! Just wondered what your policy is concerning pets. I have a certified therapy dog (used to visit nursing homes with her) and wondered if she would be welcome if my friend Bob Jasch and I volunteer at some time in the future. She is a Belgian Malinois, about 60 pounds and extremely well behaved.
    Thanks! I look forward to learning more about U.P. Lighthouses!
    Sincerely, Bonnie Potts 906-233-9750

  14. By Christian Farbaniec on May 15, 2013 | Reply

    Hello, My name is Christian I’m 25 years old I live in Chicago I’m interested in volunteering for the a lighthouse program I’m available toward the end of august.

  15. By clothing manufacturer on May 25, 2015 | Reply

    Would you please send me information concerning current jobs available. I am very interested !!!!!

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