DRLPS Honored with the Preserve America Stewardship Award
On August 2, 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama designated the DeTour Reef Light
Preservation Society as a Preserve
"Preserve America Stewards are volunteer programs that have accomplished
successful efforts in preserving the nation's historic places," said Wayne
Donaldson, chairman of the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
(ACHP). "Historic preservation has always relied upon motivated,
active volunteers who understand that it is an individual as well as
community responsibility to make certain that significant historic
places remain to enrich and enlighten present and future
Visit the Publications section to see
copies of the official letters from the White House and the ACHP.
Welcome to the DeTour Reef Lighthouse
Since 1847, a lighthouse has been located at DeTour Passage at the northwestern head of Lake Huron. Originally placed on shore at Point DeTour, Michigan, the Light was moved offshore to DeTour Reef in 1931. The Light marks the mouth of the St. Mary's River, which connects Lake Huron to Lake Superior. It is well known to ship captains and pleasure boaters who sail the upper Great Lakes. For generations the Light at DeTour Passage has provided a beacon for those vessels seeking the "Gateway to Superior”.
Rising 83' above water with its 63' tall Classic-Revival-style architecture, this Lighthouse has been a fixture in Michigan's Upper Peninsula since 1931. DeTour Reef Light stands as a testament to the importance of shipping in the region's political, economic and social history. In 1974 the Lighthouse was automated and by 1997 the Lighthouse had been declared excess property by the U.S. Coast Guard. In 1998 the Lighthouse was added to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of America's Most Endangered Historic Places, as the example lighthouse for all of Michigan's historic lighthouses.
In January 1998, civic leaders from DeTour Village and Drummond Island, Michigan, met to form the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS), a non-profit volunteer (501C3) organization. The purpose of the Society is to establish, support and promote efforts in the preservation and restoration of the DeTour Reef Lighthouse; to achieve the safekeeping of the building, artifacts and records; to educate and inform the public on its history; and to raise awareness about the importance of volunteers in maintaining and protecting the DeTour Reef Lighthouse for all present and future generations. DRLPS now holds a lease on the Lighthouse and is working to obtain ownership. It was restored in 2003-2004 to its 1931 appearance and condition.
Photo © 2008 by Dave Bardsley
Stay at the Lighthouse: Want to get away? Sign up for the Lighthouse Keeper Program
and spend a weekend at DeTour Reef Lighthouse. Exerience the delight
of living on an offshore lighthouse.
Tour the DeTour Reef Lighthouse: DRLPS offers tours to the Lighthouse throughout the summer. Experience the adventure and history of a tour of the DeTour Reef Lighthouse.
Take a Cruise of the St. Mary’s River: Cruise with us on
Fathers Day from Lake Huron to the Lake Superior side of the Soo locks in 1 day.
DRLPS has 16 years of experience in operating this River Cruise.
Evening Under the Stars: The 2013
Evening Under the Stars benefit
dinner will be held on Friday, July 5, 2013, at Bayside Dining on Drummond
Island. Our 2012 Stars event was a huge success. Please join us in 2013!