Skeletal tower from south

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If you have ideas to share, please use our guestbook. We need suggestions, positive feedback and support to keep our morale high in tackling this pretty difficult task. So please feel free to sign our guestbook even if you just want to say Hello or wish us good luck.

Please click here
to visit the Website
of our partner, the
Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum.

Thanks for visiting us.

Award: Web Site of the Year 2005



1867 Lighthouse 2006
The 1867 lighthouse in summer 2006, with heavy overgrowth. The lantern room is exposed to the elements. Roofs are leaking and endangered by dead trees and moss .

1867 Lighthouse in 2012
Early summer 2012: Overgrowth and dead trees removed, walkways dug out, lantern room protected, metal structures painted after rust removal,damaged roof replaced. What a difference!   



To read an article on the South Fox Island Light Station
by FILA Vice-President Cathy Allchin in the
Great Lakes
, please click here.

To read one of Sandy Bradshaw's articles on FILA
in the
Grand Traverse Insider, please click here.

To view Cathy Allchin's photo documentation of
the Light Station structures,
please click here.


  A Lighthouse speaks to our Inner Light.  

The South Fox Island lighthouse certainly  has spoken to many a person's "inner light" over the course of many years, and that despite being located far off shore. It was in the fall of 2004 that a small group got together to discuss how to save this remote life-saving complex. With no funds, no boat, and not exactly knowing how or what to do, they had a singular desire: to save the light station. Thus the Fox Island Lighthouse Association (FILA) began its purposeful mission.

South Fox Island, probably one of the prettiest islands of the Great Lakes, lies about 16 nautical miles northwest of Lighthouse Point in Leelanau County, Michigan, making it the most isolated island in Lake Michigan. The State of Michigan owns one third of the island, which includes the lighthouse complex under the jurisdiction of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  

To view a map of the area please click here.

The island is crescent shaped and has 11 1/2 miles of shoreline and 2,100 acres of nearly unspoiled wilderness. There is some evidence that French explorers visited North and South Fox Islands in the early 1600s. South Fox has no natural harbor. A lighthouse was erected in 1867 on the southern tip of the island. It was abandoned and left to decay in 1959.

Help is needed to save this light. Saving a lighthouse is no easy feat by anyone's standards. The island's remoteness and the cost of boat maintenance, repairs and gas -- needs are indeed great. Will you join in helping?  

Please see our Membership information by clicking here.

In just a few short years much progress has been made. We have grown from a small group to an increasing number of like-minded persons unified in preserving this historic part of Great Lakes maritime history. FILA has partnered with the DNR and also with the  Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum in Northport, where a visual link to the light station is on display via a live web cam.

Volunteer workers, donations and grant fundings are needed continuously - please come help. You can use the PayPal link below for a quick donation or have a look at other ways to make a donation on our Contributions page by clicking here.


Fox Island Lighthouse Association
P.O. Box 851
Traverse City, MI 49685

You may contact John McKinney, co-founder and President of FILA,
at (231) 947-1926

and / or Cathy Allchin, Vice-President
at (231) 883-7645



Latest update: October 12, 2015