These are the 12 lighthouses the General Services Administration is offering to give away.
• Ile aux Galets Light on Skillagalee Island in northern Lake Michigan, 7 miles north of Cross Village, Mich. The 58-foot white octagonal brick tower was built in 1850. No keeper’s house. Accessible by boat only.
• Port Austin Reef Light, 2-1/2 miles off Port Austin, Mich., in southwestern Lake Huron. The 60-foot octagonal brick tower, with keeper’s quarters, is accessible by boat only. Built in 1878, it is being restored by the Port Austin Reef Lighthouse Association.
• Alpena Light, on the northern breakwater at the entrance to Thunder Bay River, northwestern Lake Huron at Alpena, Mich. The 38-foot steel skeletal tower was built in 1914 and is accessible by foot.
• Brandywine Shoal Light, a 60-foot cast-iron cylindrical light with keeper’s quarters, was built near the mouth of Delaware Bay in 1914 and looks over the ship channel. An earlier light erected there in 1850 was the nation’s first screwpile lighthouse. It is accessible by boat only.
• Ship John Shoal Light, farther up Delaware Bay, is a 45-foot cast-iron octagonal light with keeper’s quarters built in Victorian style in 1877, 2.8 miles south of the Cohansey River in New Jersey. It overlooks the bay’s ship channel and is accessible by boat only.
• Miah Maull Shoal Light is another Delaware Bay light, a 45-foot cast-iron cylindrical structure with a brick lining. It’s located along the east side of the bay’s ship channel, 8 miles south of Fortsescue, N.J., and is accessible by boat only.
• Race Rock Light, located at The Race at the east end of Long Island Sound near Fishers Island, N.Y., is a 45-foot octagonal light with keeper’s quarters that was built of granite in Gothic Revival style in 1879. Well-known to local boaters and anglers, it is accessible by boat only and has a landing pier.
• Orient Point Light, a conical cast-iron tower with a brick lining, was built in 1899 and lies about a half-mile from Orient Point on the far east end of Long Island, N.Y. Accessible by boat only, it stands guard over Plum Gut.
• Point Tuna Light lies on a high, rocky hill jutting into the Caribbean and overlooking a quartz-rich sand beach on Puerto Rico’s southeast coast. The stone tower, 110 feet above sea level, sits atop a two-unit stone keeper’s house painted white.
• Milwaukee Breakwater Lighthouse, built in 1926 on the detached north breakwater outside Milwaukee’s harbor, is a square art deco-style steel-plate building with keeper’s quarters and a 53-foot tower. It is accessible by boat only.
• Fowey Rocks Light, the northernmost of six lights built along the Florida Keys reef, is six miles southeast of Cape Florida. Built in 1878, it is a screwpile light with a steel skeletal structure and a platform with an octagonal iron two-story keeper’s house and a light 110 feet above the water. Fowey is accessible by boat only.
• Point Fermin Light in San Pedro, Calif., is a picturesque wood-frame structure built in 1874 of California redwood in Victorian style. The rectangular light tower sits atop the keeper’s quarters on a promontory overlooking the harbor. Renovated at a cost of $2.6 million from 2002-04, it is a museum and the central attraction of Point Fermin Park.
Information about surplus property lighthouses and applying to own one is available at the General Services Administration website at www.gsa.gov. Search NLHPA.
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This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue.