The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lighthouse Museum

When I signed up to be a volunteer at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, I knew there would be a variety of tasks we volunteers would handle from running the gift shop on the weekend, to helping to winterize the lighthouse and out buildings. One thing I didn't expect, though, was to have the opportunity to help set up a display for the museum.

The museum is in the process of dedicating a room to the McCormick family who tended the light from 1922 to 1938. This family had eleven kids, two of whom still live in northern Michigan.

One of the kids, Doug (who himself would later be a lighthouse keeper), has donated many artifacts for the museum. Among them is is dress Coast Guard uniform complete with sword (held by volunteer, Bonnie, in photo above). Doug's unit was mobilized to the Pacific theater of war during WWII, and Doug was at the Battle of Guadalcanal.

Volunteer John Reynolds (below) spent several days in the basement workshop of the lighthouse custom building a beautiful wood case to house and protect the uniform. I had the privilege of dressing the manequin.

It was fascinating to actually touch some of the history of this lighthouse, to listen to director Stef Staley talk about her vision for this room, and to feel a connection between the lighthouse's past and its future visitors.

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