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Kewaunee Lighthouse VP attends Michigan Lighthouse Conference

Friends of the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse vice-president Jake Heffernan recently attended a 3-day conference for the Michigan Lighthouse Alliance (MLA) in Port Huron, MI. The conference gathered more than 60 lighthouse representatives from across the state of Michigan together to discuss community engagement strategies. The Port Huron Museums along with the MLA were gracious hosts for all in attendance, giving behind the scenes tours of each of the Port Huron museum sites.

Jake Heffernan attended the conference as a representative of Spectacle Reef Lighthouse on Lake Huron, but also represented the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse, as much of his work is done here. Representatives for various lighthouses were tapped to give presentations on some of the issues that they were able to solve by engaging the community in different ways. "Stealing" ideas was encouraged throughout the conference. Many quipped: "Why reinvent the wheel?"

During the convention, guests were invited to tour the Carnegie Museum, the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in the state of Michigan, as well as the Light Ship HURON, which was the last remaining light vessel in-service on the Great Lakes when she was retired in 1970 from Corsica Shoals on Lake Huron.

While aboard the lightship HURON, Heffernan was allowed to complete the inspection of the two diaphone fog horns that he'd begun last year. Heffernan is compiling a report on the condition and recommended restoration of these rare "Type F2T" diaphone fog horns at no charge for the Port Huron Museums, in an effort to ensure these delicate sound signals are not inadvertently damaged from improper sounding.

One of the many lighthouse representatives Heffernan met at the conference, was John Gronberg of the Holland, MI Lighthouse. As Kewaunee and Holland are very similarly designed, Gronberg invited Heffernan to tour the lighthouse after the conference.

Bill Tazelaar and John Gronberg of the Holland Historical Lighthouse Commission met Heffernan at "Big Red" and brought him out to the lighthouse for a bottom-to-top tour of the inside. Check out the photos here!


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