The Charlevoix South Pier Lighthouse, built in 1948, stands today as a shining example of what can be accomplished with the cooperation of nonprofit interests, local municipalities, and the federal government. The lighthouse is owned by the City of Charlevoix and maintained and preserved by the Charlevoix Historical Society, while the United States Coast Guard is responsible for the operation of the light. The Historical Society restored the lighthouse in phases over several years during the 2000s. The work included returning it to its historically significant red color in 2009. The restoration was made possible thanks to generous donations from community members and matching grants from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office under the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program.
The lighthouse was repainted during the Summer of 2016. The red pigment from the 2009 painting faded to a point that this became necessary. An improved coating, manufactured by Tnemec, was identified and matched exactly to the original “Fire Red”. This project was also supported by a grant from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program. If you would like to donate to help us continue to save the South Pier Lighthouse, you can do so in our Become a Member section of the website.
Throughout 2023 the Historical Society will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the current structure. There will be a variety of events to raise funds for needed repairs. Around $60,000 is needed in the near term to complete repairs to the concrete base, lantern, windows, and interior paint. These are important to stabilize and preserve the lighthouse for the long-term.
Please visit the Charlevoix South Pier Lighthouse, accessible from Charlevoix’s Lake Michigan Beach. For more information on the preservation of this Charlevoix landmark, and to have your Lighthouse Passport stamped visit us at the Charlevoix Historical Society Museum at Harsha House at 103 State Street. Call 231-547-0373 for hours.