The Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse is an icon for the Ludington community, and despite the high water levels causing problems and frequent breakwater closures, tourists continue to visit and volunteer lighthouse keepers continue to work.
The volunteers donate their time to preserving and restoring the lighthouse and to educating people about Michigan’s maritime history.
Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association (SPKLA) Executive Director Peter Manting said volunteers come from far distances to be temporary lighthouse keepers during the summer, and so do the guests — one volunteer said the guest book had people signing from Japan, Austria and Sweden.
Some of them have been disheartened when they make the trip and the breakwater is closed, according to Manting.
“Keepers from out of town get discouraged,” he said.
Manting said volunteers enjoy the day off when the lighthouse is closed, but are a little frustrated when it happens multiple days in a row.
Though there are hundreds of visitors every day, attendance has taken a hit as a result of the summer’s multiple breakwater closures.
The number of tower climbs is down this year by 30 percent and gift shop sales are down by five percent compared to 2018, according to Manting.
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