The U.S. General Services Administration is handling the auction sale of the Gravelly Shoals Lighthouse, which is currently property of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Lisa Tangney of the GSA said the lighthouse is generally not relied upon for navigation with advancements in technology and is considered excess property by the Coast Guard.
“With modern technology and GPS systems, it’s pretty much the way the direction is going with navigation on the water, so they don’t need the actual lighthouse anymore,” she said.
According to information in the GSA’s invitation to bid on the property, the lighthouse has to be sold to a nonprofit organization. Tangney said that is not GSA or Coast Guard policy, but state policy.
The invitation to bid says the Coast Guard would retain the right to use, repair or maintain the lighthouse. It says the buyer must also keep the lighthouse up to the recommended approaches in The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties, Standards for Preservation.
Tangney said lighthouses are often sought after by historical preservation organizations, and that the structures are popular in Michigan.
“There is a big lighthouse following among people and historic groups in Michigan and across the nation,” she said. “The state of Michigan holds, I think every other year now, a lighthouse conference. This light is historic, so whoever buys it has to accept in the deed the historic preservation covenants.”
The lighthouse tower is 65 feet tall with a surrounding deck. It is five miles off the shore of Au Gres Township.
The minimum bid is $5,000. Tangney said the auction began June 30 and as of July 17, there had been no bids submitted on the property.
For more information, contact Tangney at 312-886-9480, or via email at email@example.com.
references for this article from Tim Barnum, Arenac County Independent News