1867 Lighthouse 2007

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News Archives 2007
(latest entry at the top, blog style)

For other years, please click here to go back to the News page.


2007 summary of activities
Annual Meeting 2007
Boat engine problem solved
Invitation to the Annual Meeting
Board meeting of November 8, 2007
Annual Report 2007
Light station secured for the winter
Board Meeting of October 9, 2007
Fall Harvest Festival 2007
Team Nickerson on South Fox
August News
Announcement: 2nd South Fox Island Day at GTLHM
Pictures and news summer 2007
Early summer activities
Spring update
Board Meeting of April 11, 2007
Boat reconditioning and publicity work in March
Lee Murdock benefit concert in Suttons Bay
Presentation at the Chicago Maritime Festival II
New address and phone number
Board meeting of February 13, 2007
Activities in January

For other years, please click here to go back to the News page.  

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2007 summary of activities

Boat house
- East half cleared of tons of rocks
- Structure trued and stabilized by two temporary interior shear walls
- Temporary external braces removed
- Rotted roof boards replaced
- Blown-out part of southern wall reinstalled
- Adjacent pier and walkways cleared of rocks

Oil house
- Roof and door painting (red) completed  
- Brick walls painted in white

Paint shop (formerly a.k.a carpenter's shop)
- More brush cleared around the building
- Priming coat of white paint applied on exterior walls
- Interior cleared of 6 inches of leaves
- Rotted front door threshold replaced
- Four window panes recaulked
- Temporary roof repairs completed

Fog signal building
- Two broken window panes on the main floor replaced
- Upper story door to the former catwalk to the steel tower reinforced

Skeletal steel light tower
- Thick brush cleared around the base
- Access to entrance level gained using an extension ladder
- Condition of the structure assessed
- Infrastructure for Web cam in lantern room prepared

- Sightlines from Web cam to other buildings cleared
- Fallen trees cut up and removed
- Additional walkways cleared of overgrowth and humus
- Mouse traps and d-Con deployed in assistant keepers' quarters
- Lilac Garden Throne recommissioned (that's the outhouse without a house but with the nicest view you can get on the Great Lakes while doing your business)
- Doors and entry screens closed for winter
- Lightkeeper boat recommissioned after thorough overhaul
- South Fox Island Lighthouse Restoration Project presented at various public events
- Several benefit events organized
- Lots of PR work done in various media channels
- Cooperation with other organizations intensified

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Phil von Voigtlander's Annual Report and other reports
Dec. 31, 2007

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Annual Meeting 2007

The FILA Board hosted the Annual Meeting and potluck lunch on December 8th at the Great Lakes Children's Museum in Traverse City. Twenty-six members and volunteers enjoyed a bountiful lunch of culinary offerings from the board  and several of the members.

Though a brief board meeting followed lunch, the highlight of the afternoon was an audio-video presentation composed by Jan Nickerson. It featured photo montages of the Team Nickerson island visit set to music written and performed by an old time lumber jack from the island, Jim Crocket.

The photos presented an excellent documentation of all of the work that the Nickersons completed this summer and the experience of enjoying the camp life on the island again. This was an island reunion for the older Nickersons who had last been there decades ago when their family owned much of the island and was actively involved with lumbering it. They are already planning to return next year to assist FILA once more.

At the formal Annual Meeting, again partly attended over the phone from Switzerland by Sandra Bradshaw and H. Joerg Rothenberger, the Board reviewed the financial situation. The good news was that thanks to our generous membership, private donors and grantors, FILA will be embarking on the 2008 season with the financial ability to execute an aggressive program of projects at the Lighthouse. We encourage members and new volunteers to contact us and join in the island work this coming summer!

After polling the Board, we introduced our new board members Sally Frye and Bob Zwemer. Both have already made great contributions of resources and effort to FILA; welcome aboard!

The election of officers yielded: John McKinney - president, Sandy Bradshaw - vice president, George Carpenter - secretary and Phil von Voigtlander - Treasurer. The new Board is committed to an active program of stabilizing and protecting the Fox Island Lighthouse Complex. We briefly reviewed our Mission Statement and opened the discussion on how it might more concisely address this purpose.

Bob Zwemer reported on the state of the Webcam Project, which will connect the South Fox Island Light Station to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum and to the Internet.

Led by Phil Von Voigtlander and John McKinney, members and volunteers that have donated in-kind services and material this year were thanked for their efforts. The people mentioned (in no particular order) are: Charles "Riz" Anderson of Leelanau Tree Service, contractor Dick Parker, Britten Banners, Gull Island Marine, Northport Bay Boat Yard, Andy Thomas of Thomas & Milliken, Ron Fitzsimmons, the Nickerson Family, Don Bult, Al Noftz, Bob Zwemer, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (Anna Sylvester, Craig Gulseth, Lisa Gamarro), Rotary Charities, the Leelanau Township Community Foundation, and the Ted and Jane Von Voigtlander Family Foundation. A special thanks also to our partner organization, Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum and Stef Staley.  

Phil von Voigtlander & George Carpenter
December 28, 2007

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Boat engine problem solved

Phil von Voigtlander reported that the problem with the Lightkeeper's starboard engine seems to be solved. Several factors contributed to the failure, but each of them can be corrected. The issue, actually a partial hydro-lock of the cylinders, could have caused major damage, though.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger
Nov. 19, 2007

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Invitation to the Annual Meeting & Annual Report

A .PDF version of the invitation to FILA's Annual Meeting including the 2007 Report is available. Please click here.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger
Nov. 19, 2007

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Board Meeting of November 8, 2007

A board meeting was held in Traverse City. Various financial and organizational matters were covered, including plans for the Annual Meeting in December, membership mailing issues, nomination of officers and additional board members.  

Phil von Voigtlander reported on the completion of work at the light station and some troubles with the engines of FILA's Lightkeeper boat  -  which fortunately recurred only on this year's very last return from a regular work trip to the island. Phil also summarized the state of affairs with the Department of Natural Resources, whereas Bob Zwemer informed the board concerning the progress made on the WebCam project.

John Nelson reported on the recent Five Lights Meeting. The new name for this young regional cooperation is Grand Traverse Area Circle of Lights. Stef Staley notified the board of the plans for a special lighthouse insert in the Traverse City Record-Eagle. She also informed the board of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse scheduled for July 19, 2008, including yet another chance for FILA to represent our own project.

Sandy Bradshaw and H. Joerg Rothenberger attended the entire meeting over the phone from Europe, a first for our association.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Phil von Voigtlander's minutes
November 18, 2007

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Annual Report 2007

The Annual Report 2007 by Phil von Voigtlander can be viewed by clicking here.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger
November 15, 2007

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Light station secured for the winter

After 3 weeks of frustration waiting for a good weather window, the following work was performed by John McKinney, Phil von Voigtlander, John Nelson, Bob Zwemer and Tom Larkin during a one day outing on October 14:
    1. The temporary external braces were removed from the boathouse, which is now standing true on the newly installed interior shear walls.
    2.  The FILA sign was removed for the season and stored.
    3.  A boat load of materials, tools and supplies were removed and transported to Northport.
    4. Mouse traps and d-Con were deployed in the assistant keepers quarters and all windows and doors secured and entry screens replaced.
    5.  The historic lighthouse tower doors and entry screens were closed.
    6.  At the paint shop, 4 window panes were recaulked, a small area of the roof repaired with cedar shingles, the leaves swept from the structure and the doors blocked closed.
    7.  In the fog signal building, two broken windows were replaced and the door closed and latched.
    8.  Entry to the light tower was achieved and details of the upper decks, lantern room and equipment room noted and photographed regarding details relating to the webcam installation.
The crew returned to Northport harbor uneventfully and unloaded 2 truck loads of materials, supplies and tools prior to the arrival of light rain showers.

Lightkeeper boat before sunrise
FILA's Lightkeeper boat in Northport Marina.

Phil welcoming crew
Phil welcoming the crew aboard
the Lightkeeper.

The historic lighthouse ready for winter
The historic Lighthouse is ready
for winter.

Stairs inside fog signal building
John on the stairs inside the
fog signal building.

Phil climbing the skeleton tower
Phil on the way to the 1934
skeleton tower.

Lantern room on skeleton tower
Inside the lantern room of the skeleton tower.

Tom & Phil in the lantern room
Tom (left) and Phil in the lantern room.

Phil von Voigtlander
October 15, 2007

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Board meeting of October 9, 2007

A board meeting was held at the Children's Museum in Traverse City on October 9, 2007. Phil von Voigtlander reported on the financial situation caused by FILA's numerous activities in August and September. Despite heavy expenses we are still in the black.

Plans for closing the light station for winter and the state of affairs concerning the web cam project were reported. Sally Frye and George Carpenter were thanked for the excellent organization of the Harvest Day event.

The issue of board member absences due to non-local residency or extended stays abroad was discussed. Sally presented each board member with a Board Book, a binder for organizing board documents and the like.

The current situation concerning grant opportunities and details for the annual report to the Department of Natural Resources were reported, and plans for the Annual Meeting of December 8 were made.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Phil von Voigtlander's minutes
October 15, 2007

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Fall Harvest Festival 2007

The Fall Harvest Festival with Pancake Breakfast and Silent Auction of September 22, 2007 at the Leelanau State Park pavilion was a great success, fun as well for both those who volunteered and those who attended. FILA board members, supporters, volunteers and spouses did a tremendous job.

Six new members joined, and we welcome each one of them!  

FILA ended up making a modest profit with the breakfast and Silent Auction - ever so important so that we may continue in our efforts to preserve the S. Fox Island lighthouse complex!

FILA prez John McKinney & wife
FILA president John McKinney and his wife Ann.

John Nelson flipping pancakes
Grand Traverse Baykeeper and FILA board member, John Nelson, flipping pancakes.

S. Fox jacket
Thank you Stef Staley, Executive Director of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, for having South Fox wearables at their gift shop. This lovely warm flannel zip-up jacket was snatched up at the Silent Auction.

Sally Frye taking a break
Sally Frye taking a break. The Silent Auction was a great success, and we truly thank Sally for all her hard work. As a full time teacher, her time is quite precious; all the more kudos for donating so much effort in support of FILA.

John McKinney being filmed
Pancake flipping FILA prez being filmed by TV 7&4 photographer Josh Schaub.

Phil & new members
Phil showing "the ropes" to new FILA members Tom and Kathy Larkin of Northport.

Sandy Bradshaw
October 4, 2007

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Team Nickerson on South Fox

During late August (18th to 26th), Team Nickerson camped at the South Fox Light Station and assisted FILA in several of our island projects. The team is comprised of 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation descents of Sterling Nickerson Sr who had owned and lumbered large tracts of the island in the '50's and '60's. The team was organized by his grand daughter, Jan Nickerson, who, along with her brothers and team members, Greg and Steve, had spent summers of their childhoods at the island lumber camp.

Among the projects completed by the Nickersons were the cutting up and clearing of fallen trees along the side walks and the cutting of sod off of additional sections of the walkways. They completed the cutting of brush around the foundations of the Light house and keepers quarters and removed the wood left from last years cutting of impinging trees. Down at the boat house, they assisted Dick Parker in the righting and stabilization of the structure. Subsequently, they replaced the rotted roof boards and reinstalled the blown out wall panel. Access around the boat house was improved by clearing the stones from the breakwater and leveling the path around the south side and the connecting sidewalk (see photo).

The efforts of Team Nickerson have contributed the bulk of the progress at the Light Station this season and they are greatly appreciated.

Team Nickersonaround the camp fire The Nickersons prepare to share a dinner feast with Carol Garlo (left, back to camera) volunteer / FILA member, Dick Parker (standing) designer/builder of boathouse stabilization, and Jack Relyea (right, back to camera) Grand Traverse Lighthouse Day Keeper.  

Team Nickerson posing Jan and Greg (sitting), Jan's grandkids (standing left), Greg's daughters (center), Steve and Carol.

Nickersons in front of the boat house
After a huge lot of hard work: Carol, Steve,
Greg and Jan Nickerson (from left to right).

Phil von Voigtlander
September 19, 2007

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August News

The Lightkeeper, FILA's boat, was used to haul a lot of heavy material to the light station. FILA members and many volunteers have been working very hard on various damaged areas of the buildings.

Phil von Voigtlander removed tons of pebbles from the interior of the boat house. George Carpenter replaced parts of the carpenter's shop that had been gnawed away by carpenter ants (no kidding!). Bill VanderSalm painted the red brick walls of the oil house in white as they had originally been.

With the permission of the Department of Natural Resources, a great new FILA sign, prepared by Jan Nickerson and produced and generously donated by Britten Banners in Traverse City, was mounted on the posts of the DNR's own sign next to the oil house.

A whole squad of members of the Nickerson family, who formerly owned most of South Fox Island, volunteered many man-days  -  even quite a few more than originally planned, because bad weather made it difficult to get them back to the mainland.

There still are certain problems with one of the Lightkeeper's engines. Our boat specialists are working on them. Thanks to the prudence of our seasoned captains, the safety of our passengers and the boat never was affected, though. However, the cost of the engine repairs and the fuel still is a very serious issue. The frequent use of Andy Thomas' Showboat instead of the Lightkeeper caused additional expenses for repair and maintenance. Donations are badly needed.

At the Port Oneida Fair, FILA was represented by Sandy Bradshaw and H. Joerg Rothenberger with an updated photo display. A few new contacts were made that may prove beneficial to FILA in the future.

At the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, Barbara von Voigtlander and Sally Frye presented FILA and the lighthouse project to the visitors of the 2nd South Fox Island Day, which also featured the Waltz Pistols, a live blue-grass band, to draw attention to the South Fox exhibition.

In close cooperation between Bob Zwemer of FILA and Stephanie Staley of the GTLHM, the Web cam project for both lighthouses has left the planning stage. More on this topic will be reported a.s.a.p..

Lumber aboard the FILA boat
Lumber inside the Lightkeeper's cabin. From left: Sandy Bradshaw, Greg Nickerson and George Carpenter

Landing beams
Bringing beams ashore: George (with Miss Cricket), Phil and Greg.

Gravel inside the boat house
BEFORE: inside the boat house, pebbles up to the sill (photo shot in July).

Boat house interior cleared
AFTER: tons of gravel removed.

Destroyed front door sill
BEFORE: the sill under the threshold board, virtually pulverized by ants.

Carp repairing the sill
ACTION: Carp doing carpentry work on the front door sill of the carpenter's shop.

Repaired sill
AFTER: the original threshold board on the
new sill. Problem solved without visible change.

Oil house painted white
The oil house, freshly painted in white.

New FILA sign
The new FILA sign between the boat house and the old lighthouse.

FILA display at Port Oneida Fair
Sandy at the FILA stand in Port Oneida.

Band at Port Oneida Fair
The Waltz Pistols, shot at the Port Oneida Fair, played for FILA at the GTLHM.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger
August 29, 2007

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Announcement: 2nd South Fox Island Day at GTLHM

The 2nd Annual S. Fox Island Lighthouse Day will be held this Saturday, August 18th from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse in the Leelanau State Park, Northport. The Fox Island Lighthouse Association (FILA) will have video presentations, island information on its history and on current work in progress.  A Silent Auction is being held.  Over twenty items have been donated by various merchants and other members of the community, including a Day Trip with lunch for two out to the island aboard the Lightkeeper, FILA's boat.  Entertainment will be provided.  The event is free and open to the public, however, a Michigan State Park sticker is required for vehicle entrance into the State Park.

Sandy Bradshaw
August 13, 2007

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Pictures and news summer 2007

A board meeting was held in Northport on July 10. The introduction of an auditable accounting system was approved. Stephanie Staley of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum presented the current state of the Web cam project. Insurance issues, the problem of fuel cost, various PR and technical projects were discussed.

In the course of July, several outings to the South Fox light station were made on board Andy Thomas' Showboat. FILA members and Volunteer Lightkeepers of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum worked on the preservation of several buildings. Access to the cast iron skeletal light tower, erected in 1934, was gained, and extensive photographic documentation of the fog signal building was begun.

Crew on the west beach
FILA board members and GTLHM Volunteer Lightkeepers on the way from the western beach to the light station. Please note Phil's wheel-less wheelbarrow.

Inside the fog signal house
Inside the fog signal building. Most of the original equipment (steam boilers, coal conveyors etc.) are now scattered along the beach to the boat house.

Foundation of the skeleton tower
Detail of the foundation of the 1934 skeleton tower after clearing the jungle.

Heavily damaged shed on the back side of the lighthouse 
The annex to the back side of the historic lighthouse is about to collapse. Unfortunately, FILA is not allowed to do any structural changes, so this part of the building may soon be history.

FILA board members attended a meeting of the five lighthouses of the area, Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum in Northport, Point Betsie in Frankfort, Mission Point on Old Mission, South Manitou Island and South Fox Island, for which kind of a coalition for closer cooperation is being planned.

FILA at the 5-lighthouse meeting
Phil von Voigtlander (left), Sandra Bradshaw
and H. Joerg Rothenberger at the meeting
of the five lighthouses in Traverse City.

On July 30, the Lightkeeper, FILA's own boat, had her maiden voyage  -  well, not really, but it was her first voyage under the new name and ownership anyway. She took eight people to South Fox and seven of them back to Northport the same day. Only minor problems were reported and immediately tackled.

The Lightkeeper in Northport Marina
The Lightkeeper in Northport Marina, July 25, 2007.

Lightkeeper ready for maiden voyage II
The Lightkeeper on July 30, ready for her second maiden voyage. 

Maiden voyage II: approaching the light
Approaching South Fox Island Lighthouse  -  FILA Captain Ron Fitzsimmons (right) at the helm, watched by FILA Captain George "Carp" Carpenter.

At anchor east of S. Fox Light Station 
Lying at anchor off the beach east of the light station.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger
August 3, 2007

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Early summer activities

A lot is going on on the island and on the mainland. Andy Thomas' Showboat was launched on May 27, for a second summer as a workboat for FILA thanks to Andy's generousity, while FILA's own boat, the Lightkeeper, was still being worked on at Gull Island Marine in Northport.

Weather permitting, work trips to the light station were made on a weekly basis since the second week of June. Some of them also included rides for Volunteer Lightkeepers of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum (GTLHM). The first journey brought some problems due to unfavorable wind and waves after anchoring. Our skippers had to move the Showboat several miles northward, which necessitated quite a hike for those on shore to get back on board. However, the trip was concluded in full safety.  

On June 6, a board meeting was held at the Children's Museum in Traverse City. Financial issues (still pretty serious!) were discussed as well as maritime matters (status of the boats), the new display for the South Fox exhibtion at the GTLHM and the Webcam project, featuring a video camera at the light station with live feed to the GTLHM and to the Internet.

A second trip, on June 11 - 13, again brought two GTLHM Volunteer Lightkeepers and a FILA crew to the light. The three days on the island in perfect weather conditions were highlighted by the visit of Steve Zimmerman and Jim Viviano, both of Kalamazoo, who were on a 150 mile kayak journey from Sleeping Bear to Bois Blanc. They spent one night with the FILA crew at the lighthouse. The whole gang had a great time there, both working hard and socializing.  

By the way, as a little contribution to FILA's environmental commitment, all crew members on the island always collect all litter they find while roaming the beaches and take it back to the mainland.

On June 26, a Thank you dinner for Andy and Gloria Thomas was held at the Bluebird in Leland. Their very kind help, lending their Showboat to our now licensed FILA skippers, Ron Fitzsimmons and George "Carp" Carpenter, made it possible for us to reach the island despite the technical troubles with our own boat.

On July 1st, the new South Fox Lighthouse display was opened to the public at the GTLHM.

After a complete overhaul not only of the engines over winter, thanks to a lot of hard work by Phil von Voigtlander and his volunteers, the Lightkeeper boat has been launched and may be ready for action fairly soon.

Another board meeting was held at Phil's in Northport on July 10th. Details will follow.

The old lighthouse after clearing the walkways
The old lighthouse with the lantern room
repaired and boarded up last fall and
the walkways cleared up this spring.

FILA skipper Ron Fitzsimmons and the two GTHLM Volunteer Lightkeepers at the front door of the old lighthouse.

The two kayakers
Jim Viviano (left) and Steve Zimmerman, the two kayakers, in full kit on the beach next to the boat house.

Working on the carpenter's shop
 GTLHM's Sally Frye and volunteer
working on the carpenter's shop.

Broken lock on the fog signal building
Lock on the door of the fog signal
building, broken by intruders.

FILA president as volunteer worker
FILA president John McKinney as
volunteer worker.

Lilacs in front of the old lighthouse
Lilacs between the oil house and
the boat house. .

Hans Joerg Rothenberger
July 17, 2007
Photos by Sandy Bradshaw

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Spring update

Board member Cathy Allchin sent us the latest aerial photos of the light station! Please go to the Gallery page to view them.

Our fleet is being launched for the first outings to the island, especially with the lightkeeper volunteers of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger
Mai 31, 2007

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Board meeting of April 11, 2007

The FILA board met at the Children's Museum in Traverse City.

The status of various grants, the yield of the benefit events, plans for another public presentation and cooperation with other lighthouses of the area in the regional Lighthouse Consortium (organized by Stef Staley of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum) were discussed.

Stef Staley provided us with a list of day keepers and dates for the Lighthouse Keeper Program. Details of the schedule will be drawn up at a separate meeting scheduled for April 19th. Phil von Voigtlander reported on the status of the recommissioning of the Lighthkeeper boat. The use of the boat for non-work trips as well as safety issues including emergency procedures on the island were discussed.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Phil von Voigtlander's minutes
April 27, 2007

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Boat reconditioning and publicity work in March

Captain Ron Fitzsimmons completed the installation of the boat name and home port on the Lightkeeper. The rebuilt transmissions and engines are ready to install, so Andy Thomas and I will likely haul her over to the boat yard later this week. I spent the last couple of days setting up the brackets for the loading platform on the transom. We are still waiting for the stairs to be delivered but the platform is ready to install.

On March 21st, John Nelson and I presented a lecture on the history and status of the Lighthouse at a benefit for FILA and GTHLM organized by the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City. We had a chance to have a public dialog with 93 year old Doug McCormick. His recollections of growing up at the Fox Island station and subsequent visits there over the intervening years were the hit of the evening.

Phil von Voigtlander March 27, 2007

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Lee Murdock benefit concert in Suttons Bay

A wonderful time was had by all who attended the Lee Murdock concert on Wednesday, February 28th 2007 at the Suttons Bay High School Auditorium. Lee is a very talented musician, not only that but he talked ever so knowledgeably about maritime history  -  and cracked a few crazy jokes to the amusement of the audience too.

A number of people signed up for the Lightkeeper program that evening, so, by the use of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Keeper program and the launching of the FILA Lightkeeper boat, this merging, we are sure, will be beneficial for all involved in helping these ever so precious Leelanau lights.
The Silent Auction was well received with many good bids on lots of neat nautical items. 

GTLHM information stand
The information stand of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum.

Silent auction tabe
One of tables of the Silent Auction display.

Lee Murdock on stage

Lee Murdock 2

The star of the evening: Lee Murdock on stage.

Cathy Allchin at the 'puter
Many were very interested in FILA board member Cathy Allchin's new South Fox Island Lighthouse presentation .

Phil & John
Phil von Voigtlander (FILA treasurer / secretary, left) and John McKinney (FILA president).

Keith & Joanne Burnham
Keith Burnham, the man who keeps
the world in touch with the Leelanau
in his Leland Report, with his
wife Joanne.

Tom Kelly
Thomas Kelly, executive director of
the Inland Seas Education Association
and captain of the Great Lakes
Schoolship Inland Seas.

Thank you one and all for your attendance and support!

Sandy Bradshaw
March 13, 2007

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Presentation at the Chicago Maritime Festival II

The Chicago Maritime Festival was held on February 24th this year. Like the meeting last year, it provided an opportunity for FILA to present a lecture on the Fox Island Lighthouse in the venue of the largest metropolis of the upper Great Lakes. Our presentation this year was prepared by Catherine Allchin and presented by Phil von Voigtlander. It consisted of a 60 slide PowerPoint presentation that focused on the historic, cultural and navigational significance of the Lighthouse Complex and details about FILA and our efforts to preserve lighthouse structures. The 40 minute talk was followed by a question and answer period and individual discussions with several of the attendees.

Phil von Voigtlander
March 4, 2007

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New address and phone number

Thanks to the generous support by the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, FILA now has an official address and phone number:

Fox Island Lighthouse Association
PO Box 43
Northport, MI 49670
Phone 231 386-9151

The phone is operated only during the summer season, but you may always leave a message.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger
February 26, 2007

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Board meeting of February 13, 2007

The FILA board and advisory council member Stephanie Staley met at the Children's Museum. Phil von Voigtlander's minutes of the Annual Meeting were approved. The check from the Leelanau Township Community Foundation was passed to Phil for deposit. The board thanked Stef for her efforts concerning grants.   

The plans for Web cams at the South Fox and Grand Traverse Lighthouses were discussed, including ways to finance the project through a grant by Rotary Charities to be applied for by March 1. George Carpenter reported on his effort to get major expenses, mainly for reroofing the 1867 lighthouse in 2008, covered by the Department of Environmental Quality.

Cathy Allchin and Phil are working on a new computer-based presentation of the FILA project, to be presented at the Chicago Maritime Festival, the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum lecture series and possibly at a Rotary Lunch Meeting in spring.

The GT Lighthouse Museum generously offered office space in the museum's South Fox display area and a PO box address. Stef reported on the possibility for GT lightkeeper volunteers to spend some time at the South Fox light station. So far 15 volunteers have applied for that option.

Phil reported on the recommissioning of FILA's Lightkeeper boat. The stern rail, loading platform and ladders are being mounted, the reconditioning of the second engine is about to be completed at Gull Island Marine in Northport, and the transmissions will soon be reconditioned at Kalamazoo Marine Gear. Phil has also secured a port supply account through West Marine.

Bob Zwemer was appointed resident Web site material editor. George Carpenter was elected to serve as the FILA representative to the GTLHM Board Meetings. A strategy for recruiting and appointing additional board members was discussed too.

The next board meeting was scheduled for April 10 from 2:00-3:30.

To read Phil's complete minutes please click here.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Phil von Voigtlander's minutes
February 23, 2007

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Activities in January

Phil von Voigtlander reported that one of the engines of the Lightkeeper boat was rebuilt, and the second engine is currently being rebuilt by the kind and skilled folks at Gull Island Marine in Northport.   

On January 5, 2007, Sandy Bradshaw and H. Joerg Rothenberger met with Stephanie Staley at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum for a talk on the Lee Murdock concert scheduled for February 28. Various tasks were assigned to the two organizations.   

Please visit Lee Murdock's Web site here.

On January 10, 2007, Phil, Sandy, Joerg, Stephanie, Cathy Allchin, Greg Reisig, George Carpenter, Bob Zwemer and Jim Guilmet (the latter of the Old Mission Lighthouse) met at the GT Lighthouse Museum for a little potluck cum lighthouse talk. The concert was covered as well as the development of a new brochure to be issued by both the GT Lighthouse Museum and FILA.

We learned from Stef that the GTLHM is offering us the space in the outbuilding, so far used for the South Fox Lighthouse exhibit made by students in 2005, for an updated and extended exhibition. We wish to thank Stef Staley and the board of directors and membership for this mutually beneficial union in preserving our important Great Lakes maritime history.

Meeting at the GTLHM 1
Sandy, Bob and Jim.

Meeting at the GTLHM 2
John, Stef and Greg.

Meeting at the GTLHM 3
George, Phil, Cathy, John and Stef.

Sandy & Joerg
Sandy and Joerg.

Great News: On January 24, 2007, a $3000.00 grant was approved by the Leelanau Township Community Foundation. Special thanks to Stephanie for all her hard work in preparing the application and, of course, to the Leelanau Township Community Foundation.

Sandy Bradshaw & Hans Joerg Rothenberger
February 5, 2007

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Archived Febr. 5, 2009