banner

1867 Lighthouse 2012

Link to Home page
News page (active)
Link to History page
Link to Facts & Maps page
Link to Downloads page
Link to Gallery page
Link to Links page
Link to Contributions page
Link to About Us page
Link to Guestbook page

 

 

News Archives 2011
(latest entry at the top, blog style)

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

INDEX

2011:
Annual Meeting of December 12, 2011
Board Meeting of November 14, 2011
Board Meeting of October 10, 2011
FILA receives the HCTC Special Merit Award
5th Fall Festival
Board meeting of September 12, 2011
FILA at the Michigan Schooner Festival
FILA at the Port Oneida Fair
Board meeting of August 8, 2011
A quick fine-weather work trip
Board Meeting of July 18, 2011
Archaeological dive trip
Solo trip to an island party
Work trip of July 3
Board Meeting of June 6, 2011
First trip of the season
Board Meeting of May 9, 2011
Board Meeting of April 11, 2011
Special Board Meeting of March 28, 2011
Board Meeting of March 14, 2011
Board Meeting of February 14, 2011
Board Meeting of January 10, 2011

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

Top of page


Annual Meeting of December 12, 2011

FILA members and guests met for the Annual Meeting 2011 on Monday, December 12th. Board member Roman Grucz  was able to arrange for a room with a lovely view over the harbor at Center Pointe (formerly the Great Lakes State Building) in Greilickville.

After approval of the November meeting minutes and the Treasurer's report, John Wells reported on the success of the Year-End Appeal, totaling $2.365.00 in donations from members and interested parties, plus a separate donation of $ 1000.00 from the Slaughter Foundation of Park City, UT.

Elections: The FILA Officers were approved and three board member were confirmed for another 3-year term.

The recent completion of the Historic Structures Report incl. the marine archeology survey was discussed. A strategy for the new volunteer lightkeeper program, targeting 140 schools in Michigan for the first year, 2012, was presented.

Vice President Cathy Allchin gave a presentation highlighting the work completed and in progress on the Light Station and including a collection of historic photos.

Great food at the pot-luck was enjoyed by board members and visitors!


Harold Haase, Phil von Voigtlander and Cathy Allchin.

Sandy Bradshaw & Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Pamela Nickerson's minutes
December 25, 2011

Top of page


Board Meeting of November 14, 2011

After approving the minutes of the previous meeting and the financial report, the board discussed the completion of the Historic Structures Report incl. financial aspects, the nomination slate proposed by the Nomination Committee, the news from the Web site and Facebook, and preparations for the Annual Meeting with potluck, to be held on Monday, December 12, at the Center Point Building.

Committees: John Wells reported that FILA representatives may access records concerning South Fox at the National Archives in Chicago; at least one week's notice required. The Fall Newsletter has been printed and will be mailed shortly. Cathy Allchin will give an updated presentation to the regional Power Squadron in January.

In cooperation with the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, Phil von Voigtlander and Don Stauffer are working on a Keeper Program for volunteers. They also have purchased a 22' boat, which they are willing to loan to FILA for transportation.

The possibility of a financial advisor donating time to FILA, a possible donation and the necessity to renew the non-profit status were discussed.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Pamela Nickerson's minutes
November 19, 2011

Top of page


Board Meeting of October 10, 2011

After the call to order, Tom Jenkins of Five Lakes gave a presentation on his grave site marker research. It looks like William Lewis was not a Civil War Veteran.

Tom Jenkins & John McKinneys
 Tom Jenkins (left) and FILA Prez John McKinney.
(Photo submitted by Don Stauffer)

The completion phase of the Historic Structures Report and its scheduling and payment were discussed. Zane Bourisseau had submitted some corrections to the oral history interview. A member of the 1984 Michigan Youth Corp clean-up team offered to possibly send some photos of that operation, initiated and supervised by Brad Boese, who died on October 2, 2010. John Wells was in touch with the National Archives in Chicago, which will pull lighthouse records for FILA.

A first rough breakdown of the Fall Festival was discussed; despite the crummy weather FILA made a profit. Phil reported on his End-Of-The-Season trip to close up the buildings of the Light Station. Winter storage of the boat, important VIP trips for 2012 and possibilities for a volunteer lightkeeper program in cooperation with the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum were presented.

The board was informed of the Special Merit Award FILA received from the History Center of Traverse City. John Wells was appointed chairman of the Nominations Committee for the board election of the upcoming Annual Meeting.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Pamela Nickerson's minutes
October 14, 2011

Top of page


FILA receives the HCTC Special Merit Award

The thread of history has been carefully preserved to weave time from the past to today and into our future. This is thanks to the many preservation groups of North-West Lower Michigan, including our own, FILA.

On October 6, 2011, we received a Special Merit Award from the History Center of Traverse City (formerly the Grand Traverse Heritage Center). The Preservation Awards Committee consists of Fred Hoisington, Chairman, Steve Harold, Vice-Chairman, Dietrich Floiter, photographer, Joe Frost, Carol Hale, Raymond Kendra, Bill Kennis, Laura Quackenbush, and Ken Richmond.

Sandy, John and Anne McKinney
Sandy Bradshaw, FILA President John McKinney
and his wife, Anne (from left to right).
 

   John and Sandy
Steve Harold, John and Sandy.
 

Rex Dobson of the Ruby Ellen Farm
Rex Dobson of the
Ruby Ellen Farm with his award.

We are very pleased to have received this wonderful award. Thanks to all!

Sandy Bradshaw
October 8, 2011

Top of page


5th Fall Festival

The Fifth Annual Fall Festival at the Leelanau State Park was a great event despite the weather.  For those who came "rain or shine," there was food, friendship and fun for all. We would like to thank the Leelanau State Park, Park Ranger Al Ammons, event coordinator George Carpenter, vendors, and the many volunteers who braved the rain and cool temperatures.  

We also wish to thank the following merchants (in alphabetical order) for their kind contributions: Barrels & Barrels, Glen's Markets, Max Bauer Market, Meijer, Moomer's Handmade Ice Cream, Oleson's Food stores, Target, Sam's Club and Save-A-Lot
 
Their donations help us to continue in our quest to preserve the light station!  Thanks again to all who volunteered time, money, food and supplies.    


Not exactly the best weather for such an event.
 

 
Pamela Nickerson, John McKinney and Karen Wells
(from left to right).
 


Don Stauffer (left), with visitors.

Sandy Bradshaw
October 5, 2011

Top of page


Board Meeting of September 12, 2011

After approval of the August meeting minutes and the Treasurer's report, the board was briefed on the Historic Structures Report and the schedule for its completion. Cathy Allchin told the board that the Michigan Waterways Commission is still considering the safe harbor proposal. Possible strategies were discussed, also in view of the recent marine archeological research in the anchorage area. Members were encouraged to attend the Michigan State History Conference at the Grand Traverse Resort in late September.

Anita Pratt and Cathy reported on the recent interviews with Zane Bourisseau. Visits to the Light Station have been rare due to FILA's boat being out of commission. Options for a special trip with Bill Braden, a member of the MI Waterways Commission, were discussed, including minor maintenance projects requested by SHPO.

FILA has been nominated for an award by the History Center of Traverse City. There will be a ceremony on October 6, 2011.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Pamela Nickerson's minutes
September 10, 2011

Top of page


FILA at the Michigan Schooner Festival

The Sept 9 - 11, 2011 Schooner Fest on West Grand Traverse Bay proved to be very popular this year with thousands of participants.  The array of schooners and sailing boats created an exciting venue for maritime activity and education.  

Thanks to good weather, FILA, which displayed all three days, sold several hundred dollars worth of books, prints and memberships.  Don Stauffer again offered a demonstration of his glass bead making skills with proceeds going to FILA.  Of course FILA members had fun.

 
The FILA booth ready for the rush.
 

Don Stauffer, FILA board member, with his equipment.


Three-mast schooner
Denis Sullivan (Milwaukee).
 

Armed sloop Welcome, MHA, Traverse City
Armed sloop
Welcome, MHA, Traverse City.


Schoolship
Inland Seas, Suttons Bay.
 


Schooner
Manitou, Traverse City

John McKinney, Sept. 19, 2011
Photos submitted by Don Stauffer

Top of page


FILA at the Port Oneida Fair

As in 2007, FILA was represented at the Port Oneida Fair on August 12 and 13. Only this time it was not just a table with some displays, but the pavilion tent provided by Cathy Allchin. A thunderstorm coming in on Friday evening fortunately spared us.  

Mounting the tent
FILA crew erecting the tent. 
 

Inside the tent
Inside the booth.

Laura Quakenbush & John McKinney
Laura Quackenbush of the Sleeping
Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and
John McKinney, FILA President.
 

 Don Stauffer doing his bead show
Don Stauffer, FILA Board member,
doing his glass bead show, one
of the attractions at the booth.

Quite a crowd at the FILA booth
Our booth got a lot of attention.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger
September 9. 2011

Top of page


Board Meeting of August 8, 2011

Meeting at the GT Children's Museum, the FILA board approved the minutes of the previous meeting and the financial report. The current status of the Historic Structures Report (HSR), its financing, a bridge loan, the best way to deal with inquiries in the Website Guest Book, and the profile criteria for a treasurer were discussed. John Wells reported on the research concerning the grave site of William T. Lewis including a possible petition to the Veterans Administration for a 440 lbs grave marker.

FILA's participation in various regional events was scheduled. Phil von Voigtlander reported on recent and future trips, including another visit by our HSR expert, Ken Czapski, the installation of downspouts on the 1867 Lighthouse and the pending approval for the Boat House doors by SHPO. Matters are difficult this season because FILA's boat cannot be used.

In the near future, the Grand Traverse Insider will publish a two-part article by Sandy Bradshaw covering FILA's activities on South Fox Island. Sandy also reapplied for the Grand Traverse Heritage Award. Cathy Allchin is going to attend the Waterways Commission meeting in Charlevoix. Joerg Rothenberger said the new overview map of the entire Light Station property (including the dune area) was delayed due to technical problems, but circulated a preliminary version. He also suggested some research on the history and whereabouts of the second Fresnel system of the Station.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Pamela Nickerson's minutes
September 4, 2011

Top of page


A quick fine-weather work trip

The surprise arrival of Doug and Gwen Noren to Northport Monday afforded the opportunity for a quickly planned work trip to the Fox Island Light Station. Taking the first available weather window (August 4th), Doug piloted his good little ship Victory with 6 FILA volunteers (Don and Gary Stauffer, Joey and Molly Webb, John Johnson and me) aboard to the island.

With the relatively calm seas and the predicted easterly winds we anchored at the west beach and hiked around the the Light House. Joey and Molly got the tour and we set up the ladders for John to clean the gutters. The lawnmower was fired up (Doug was the motor specialist with the improvised whip cord) and we took turns with the mowing through the day. This may be the last run for this one before it is switched out with the newly donated machine.

The trimmer was employed to clear the trails to the grave-site and the beach and a group convened to install the newly constructed grave site sign. Considerable effort was also expended clearing back the lilac shots in front of the Assistant Keepers Building.

After lunch the mowing and brush clean up were completed and the sidewalks swept. We then closed up and packed out back to the west beach for a refreshing (and hopefully poison ivy removing) swim, beach hike and water melon session. Clean and refreshed, we had a smooth return trip to Northport.

A hearty thanks to the Norens for providing us with a pleasant and productive work day!

Phil von Voigtlander
August 5, 2011

Top of page


Board Meeting of July 18, 2011

At the meeting at the GT Children's Museum, the FILA Board approved the minutes of the May and June meetings and the Treasurer's report. Various other financial matters were discussed, such as payments for the Historic Structures Report and a planned bridge loan. Pamela is working on FILA's Vision Statement and, together with Jim Schiffer, will work on the Business Plan, possily with some involvement from the DNR, als Phil von Voigtlander suggested. FILA has joined the Michigan History Society.

FILA's plans for various regional events were outlined. According to Phil, trips to the island have be made aboard a volunteer boat. A lawn mower was donated to FILA. A trip to the island was made with the Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary diver and archeologist to assess the site for a harbor. To view Cathy Allchin's complete photo documentation, please click here (.PDF format).

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Pamela Nickerson's minutes
August 10, 2011

Top of page


Archaeological dive trip

The July 14 & 15 'dive trip' to South Fox went well.  The DNR and Lisa Gamero wanted the State Marine Archaeologist to survey the boat mooring area off the boathouse to determine whether any cultural artifacts remained on that bottom land which might influence decisions regarding a proposed safe harbor improvement plan that has been placed before the Michigan Waterways Commission.  None were found.

Cathy Allchin took many great pictures and sent them around to all (and placed them on Facebook)  showing the visual perspective as well as several underwater features noted by the Archaeologist during his dives, including a set of cement steps, some construction features from various phases of docking and a large block with the date '1928'.  

The archaeologist also photographed the buildings and made an assessment of the 'leanto' at the back of the 1867 lighthouse.

A report is being prepared now and will be shared with FILA by the DNR. Cathy's photos can be viewed by clicking here.

John McKinney
Submitted Sept. 19, 2011

Top of page


Solo trip to an island party

Last Wednesday afternoon, I sailed my boat out to S Fox and anchored out for the night. The next morning, July 7, I went ashore early and gave the poison ivy another round of chemical discipline. After a couple hours of spot spraying, the party began. First to arrive were Jerry and Marv Spears transporting Jim and Ann Peterson. With this trip, Jim is closing in on having visiting all of the Michigan lighthouses. An amazing undertaking as they number more than a hundred.

Shortly afterward, Norm Walter arrived with 2 young crew. While we were touring the place another boat arrived with 3 more lighthouse celebrants ( I must apologize for not retaining their names) who have a long history of visiting the station over its years of decline. Everyone was amazed and pleased to see the progress that we have made, particularly the protection that the metal over-roof affords the 1867 Lighthouse.

In the mid-afternoon, Jerry and Marv closed up the security grates on the buildings and departed with their passengers while the Walter crew tried their luck trolling the South Fox Shoal. A good day for all (though I heard that the fish won).

While spending some quiet time in the natural areas of the island, I was struck by the size (2-3feet tall) of the Pitcher Thistles. The cool and wet weather apparently agrees well with them. Likewise the various wild flowers were abundant and very showy.

Phil von Voigtlander
July 13, 2011

Top of page


Work trip of July 3

Yesterday Harold Carleton, John McKinney, Jerry Spears, Chris Young and I spent the day at the Light Station. The principal goal of the trip was to get the Web cam reinstalled and operating, but there were many grounds maintenance tasks that were well past due! We were pleased and surprised to find that the water level was again high enough to allow us to nose up to the crib for unloading. As it turned out only Chris (in waders) had to work in the water (still in the 50's) to set anchors to secure the boat.

John, Harold and I set up the ladder so that Harold could get to work in the top of the tower. Despite being cleaned out last year, the interior of the tower is again fouled (fowled) up reminding us that the closure of the broken windows should be a priority.

Chris spent the day mowing the lawn areas; no small task as it was the first mowing this year! Jerry fired up his trimmer and tackled the edges and some of the growth beyond the mowers capability. John followed up raking up the hay for composting. Meantime, I sought out the poison ivy in the camping and trail areas and sprayed them with weed-b-gone and then swept the sidewalks.

In the course of the day, five other boats were observed arriving at the island, and we conducted tours of the Station for 10 people. All were appreciative of what FILA, our volunteers and contractors have accomplished thus far and received our newsletter.

Harold completed the camera installation, checked its operation, made it somewhat more lightning resistant and with Chris and Jerry's help closed up the tower. We departed under clear skies and had a smooth and uneventful run back to Northport in time for dinner. It was a good if rather tardy start to maintaining the Station this season.

Phil von Voigtlander
July 4, 2011

Top of page


Board Meeting of June 6, 2011

The FILA Board Meeting was held at the GT Children's Museum. A bridge loan for the final UPEA bill was discussed to fill the gap until we can apply to SHPO for reimbursement in October.

The Island Harbor Marine Survey will be done July 11 - 13. John Wells presented recent contacts concerning oral history. Phil von Voigtlander reported on the first trip to the island including measuring the boat house for doors.

Moved by Cathy Allchin, the board decided to join the Michigan Historical Society.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Donald Stauffer's minutes
June 28, 2011

Top of page


First trip of the season

Thanks to the generous donation by the Snedekers of a day trip to S Fox Island, FILA has finally gotten our season underway. Sunday, June 5, provided the perfect weather for a smooth passage aboard their lovely express cruiser, Turiya.  Kathie and Jack had prepared for the trip by taking the Piping Plover identification course at the National Park Service. So the primary purpose of the trip was to assist the DNR in gathering data concerning any evidence of this species on the Lighthouse property. They kindly offered to take Andy Batteiger and I along for other FILA projects.

Andy took the measurements for the construction of the boat house doors and assessed the details of the door frame for the design and anchoring of the hinges. I was along to check out the over winter condition of the property (just like we left it!) and the priority of projects (time to mow and a few downed trees need to be cut up). I also reinstalled the FILA sign and yes, serviced the latrine.

Lunch break on the dock
Phil von Voigtlander, Andy Batteiger and
Jack Snedeker (left to right).
(Photo courtesy of Kathy Snedeker)

Kathie will report their survey directly to the DNR (Lisa Gamero) but the bottom line is that no signs of Plovers were observed. Lots of photogenic Sandpipers though! And several Bald Eagle sightings.

Thanks again to the Snedekers for making this season opener happen.

Phil von Voigtlander
June 6, 2011

Top of page


Board Meeting of May 9, 2011

This Board Meeting covered many topics. The way how to pay the UPEA bill (current balance $8,500) was discussed. FILA has received a new MLAP contract from SHPO, covering all the buildings of the station. The Executive Committee was authorized to pursue a bridge loan to cover the cost of the Historic Structures Report as soon as the completed MLAP contract is received from SHPO.

FILA's use permit for the Light Station has been signed by the DNRE. All major construction work is being passed through SHPO for approval. John Wells has transcribed six oral histories and put them on CD. Roman Grucz is rewriting the Legal Release form to allow FILA to publish them. Plans for more history interviews were discussed.

FILA's participation in several regional events was scheduled. As for activities at the Light Station, plans for refurbishing the ailing Web cam and for doors for the boat house were made, and a new boat gas policy was proposed. Concepts for a business usage plan, as requested by the Michigan Waterways Commission, as well as the renovation of the apple trees around the Light Station, a donation of gasoline for the new generator and monitoring the piping plower population on the island were discussed.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Pamela Nickerson's minutes
publ. July 18, 2011

Top of page


Board Meeting of April 11, 2011  

The April Board Meeting saw the approval of the minutes of the meetings of February (including the 2011 budget) and March. The Treasurer's report dealt with the outstanding UPEA invoice, whose payment depends on a response from SHPO concerning the revised contract. The use permit has been signed by the DNRE and John McKinney, though.

A debit card use policy was discussed and approved. John Wells presented examples of mission and vision statements. He also announced that six oral history interviews are available on CD. The issues with the Web site were discussed (the Web host company had been purchased by a bigger firm, and moving the site to the new servers caused a lot of problems).

Plans for the 2011 season: The Lightkeeper is not scheduled to be launched in 2011 due to cost issues. Cathy Allchin has ordered the wood for the Boat House door. The Little Red Dinghy is no longer available for FILA's use at the Light Station. A business usage plan must be made for the Michigan Waterways Commission.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Pamela Nickerson's minutes
May 9, 2011

Top of page


Special Board Meeting of March 28, 2011

This special meeting took place in the Restaurant of Oryana Natural Foods in Traverse City. Phil von Voigtlander reported on the Use Permit meeting with the DNRE of March 21 at the Grawn Field office.

A long discussion ensued on various topics concerning work at the Light Station, including planned procedures, mainly landscaping, including the pros and cons of volunteer works vs. professional contractors, priority of landscaping vs. building stabilization, acceptance of motorized equipment by the DNRE etc..

5 trips to the island were planned, including but not limited to door installation on the Boat House, ground clean-up and grooming of the hill near the grave site. Don Stauffer will make a "To Do" list for work days on the island. The well water in front of the 1867 Lighthouse will be tested for saftey.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on John Well's minutes
Publ. Sept. 2, 2011

Top of page


Board Meeting of March 14, 2011

The Board Meeting at the GT Children's Museum didn't see a quorum (flu season). The draft budget was revisited. The state of affairs concerning the Historic Structures Report was reported. On March 21, FILA will meet with the DNRE concerning the 2011 Use Permit. Plans for a Scenic Trails Boy Scout camp were presented.

Island: Plans for Boat House doors were discussed. A biological inventory report is available. FILA's boat, the Lightkeeper, will not be available this year. Lifejackets got labeled. Input for Vision Statement draft was requested.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on John McKinney''s minutes
Publ. September 2, 2011

Top of page


Board Meeting of February 14, 2011

The FILA board met at the GT Children's Museum. The discussion concerning the financial report was mainly about the expenses for the boat, which may see a reduced number of work sessions this year. Alternatives were discussed.

The projects for this year on the island were presented, covering a budget of $ 35,000, depending on available funding. History: Six oral history interviews have been completed.

Details of the proceeding of the Historic Structures Report (HSR), membership strategies and promotion were discussed. The board acknowledged the work of George Carpenter for the HSR.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Don Stauffer's minutes
Publ. April 22, 2011

Top of page


Board Meeting of January 10, 2011

The FILA board met at the Children's Museum in Traverse City. A budget committee was appointed. The 75% finished Historic Structures Report and FILA's possible response to SHPO concerning the temporary roof on the 1867 Lighthouse were discussed.

John Wells reported on oral history. He also offered to manage the membership list. A follow-up on the projects at the Light Station was presented by Phil von Voigtlander.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Don Stauffer's minutes
Publ. April 22, 2011

Top of page


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

 

  Archived April 8, 2013