Skeletal tower (1934)

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 *Sorry, the guestbook (run by an external company) hasn't been working for several months already. We keep trying to make them fix the problem.











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.

 *Oops! As mentioned above, the guestbook is out of commission.

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



FILA was founded in 2004. In 2006 we began taking care of the South Fox Island Light Station.

What we found.....

1867 Lighthouse 2006
1867 Lighthouse in 2006.

Lean-to 2007
1867 lean-to in 2007.

Boat House 2006
Boat House in 2006.

Workshop in 2006
Workshop in summer 2006

.....and what we did

Lean-to 2007
1867 Lighthouse in 2013.

Lean-to 2015 after rebuild
Rebuilt lean-to in 2015.  

Boat House 2015
Boat House in 2015.

Workshop in 2015
Workshop in summer 2015

For bigger photos and more  details please click on thumbnail pictures above.


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.


  Panoramic view of the Light Station from SE
View of the Light Station from southeast with the 1934 skeletal tower, the Boat House and
the 1867 Lighthouse.


  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. 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 the years since the foundation of FILA, 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: February 9, 2016