MILPS BRIEF HISTORY
MIDDLE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE PRESERVATION SOCIETY
Middle Island Lighthouse Preservation Society (MILPS) is the prospective transferee of the Historic Middle Island Lighthouse, an Associate of the Middle island Lighthouse Keepers Association (MILKA), and the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival (GLLF) a 501c3 non-profit organization.
Middle Island Lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places with the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office in 2005. The Historic Middle Island Lighthouse property is 2.75 acres situated primarily on the southeasterly portion of what known as the Middle Island Light Station, with part of the station presently being restored & preserved by the Island’s owner and the MILKA and consists of 7.70 acres.
Middle Island is about 263 acres in area. Except for the lighthouse parcel, the island is mostly privately-owned. It is accessible by boat from the small harbor of Rockport, which is located on the mainland about 2 miles west. Permission is required from the islands owner to use the boat landing on Middle Island’s western shore, and to traverse the island to the Lighthouse. It sits at the southern end of a group of buildings associated with the former Middle Island Light Station. The former light station buildings are the focus of rehabilitation work undertaken by the island’s owner and the Middle Island Lighthouse Keepers Association (MILKA).
Middle Island Lighthouse Keepers Association filed, February 13, 1992, as a non-profit corporation and ever since 1992, MILKA has been involved in restoration, preservation, history, and promotion of Lighthouses throughout the Great Lakes.
In 1996: MILKA’s members financed & orchestrated the 1st Annual Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival (GLLF) and today MILKA is still an associate of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival, as a 501c3 non-profit. Today, in excess of 33 Lighthouses from all five of the Great Lakes have benefited because of our festivals. Thousands of visitors come to Alpena every year to enjoy and help save Lighthouses.
FESTIVALS MISSION AND MOTTO
In 1999: MILKA’s members saved the Old Alpena Township Hall, mothballed in 1962 and scheduled for demolition, and at no cost of saving lighthouses, the hall was moved to a new location and preserved for the use as a MILKA/GLLF “MUSEUM”. Today, the Museum is over 140 years old with over 3,500 artifacts in and around the old structure.
2003 – 2009: Environmental information required by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for site closure found and with identification of potential contamination on the USCG’s 2.75-acre and on the adjacent (MILKA) 7.70-acre parcel of property that was divested out of the USCG inventory in 1973. With unknown results MILKA froze their memberships and in August of 2009, the Department of Homeland Security, United States Coast Guard, Civil Engineering Unit Cleveland, Ohio, gave certification of availability of property conveyance under CERCLA 120(h) for USCG Middle Island Light Station, Alpena County, Michigan.
In 2010: MILKA files an Application to obtain the Historic Middle Island Light Tower 2.75-acre property along with the prospective transferee of Middle Island Lighthouse Preservation Society.
Sep, 12, 2011: MILKA receives the letter of acceptance from the United States Department of the Interior, Ken Salazar, The Secretary of the Interior, Washington, DC for the transfer of Middle Island Light (“the Property”) 2.75-acres, GSA Control: # 1-X-MI-0479.
November 21, 2011: (QUITCLAIM DEED)
December 2011: MILKA files QUITCLAIM DEED to the Middle Island Lighthouse (2.75 acre property) with the Alpena County “Register of Deeds” Office in Alpena, Michigan.
May 28, 2012: 10:15 A.M. “MEMORIAL DAY” MILKA accepting the KEY to the Middle Island Lighthouse from the United States Coast Guard, AtoN Officer, Sector Sault Ste. Marie, MI, at the MILKA/ GLLF “MUSEUM”. Upon accepting the key, parties were transported to the Middle Island Lighthouse for the (1st) first official opening of the TOWER to the GENERAL PUBLIC. It was a perfect Memorial Day for remembering all the past “Keepers”, past “Members”, and the “Next Generation of Lighthouse Keepers”.
In 2012: MILKA’s members filing again for a non-profit organization known as Middle Island Lighthouse Preservation Society for the purpose of restoration, preservation, history and life of the Historic Middle Island Lighthouse and sharing with the public and saving the lighthouse for the Next Generations of Lighthouse Keepers.
ALL PARTIES WORKING TOGETHER TO SAVE OUR HISTORIC LIGHTHOUSES