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Beacon Archive

July 2003
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4th of July Festivities

BITA - BIBCO Reach an Agreement

Environmentally Sensitive Areas Ordinance on the Agenda

Vanishing Sturgeon

PABI's 1st Annual Goofy Golf Tournament

Rita Gillespie Memorial Blood Drive

Tara runs like the Wind

News from Beaver Island Hospice & Helping Hands

On This Date

Rutan Experimentals Fly-In at the Township Airport

Annual Firemen’s Picnic

Barry Pischner's New CD: Sailing On

The Island Welcomes New Sheriff Jim Campbell

The Bike Path: an Unqualified Success

Museum Week 2003 Schedule; Museums hold Open House

Some interesting occurrences at Meetings

A Solstice Celebration: The Second Annual High Tea

Whiskey Point Restoration; Rectory Auction

Camp Quality does Beaver Island

Charlevoix County Commission Meetings

Celebrating Flag Day

Charlie's Model A: on the way to the Shop

One Hundred Years Ago

The “Seven Sisters” Opens

BIRHC Board has Opening

Sunset Cruises available Once Again

Bob Hannon: 1950-2003

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Classified Ads

The Whiskey Point Restoration

Dick Moehl, President of the Great Lakes’ Lighthouse Keepers Association, met with the St. James Township Supervisor, members of the Historical Society’s Board and staff, and the public on June 25th, to talk about forming a partnership to create and maintain a public historic maritime site at Whiskey Point. He talked about what GLLKA has accomplished with the St. Helena Light Station and the Round Island Lighthouse near Mackinac Island. Although GLLKA would like to own the Whiskey Point Light, he would be satisfied to contract with its likely owner, St. James Township, to restore the Keeper’s House (identical to the one built at Point Betsey, for which he has the original plans) and maintain it as an authentic tourist attraction.

Dick Moehl is an energetic volunteer facilitator who has dedicated much of his life to projects like this. He was introduced to the manager of a family foundation who wanted to do something significant to preserve Michigan’s nautical heritage, and immediately thought of the Whiskey Point Boathouse, currently up for sale, and how it would be a perfect base for the Great Lakes Research Station CMU would like to establish. That is now in the works; his informal master plan is for GLLKA to guide and control the restoration of the entire Point, including the current Town Hall–he sees no reason, though, why it could not continue to function in its present manner.

Because of his experience, he feels he could play an important role in obtaining the funding this vast project would require. Another tool he brings to the table is his ability to acquire volunteers help from various organizations–he’s been particularly successful getting the Boy Scouts involved. He’s well-connected to important politicians as well, and has a good record of receiving grants.

After his presentation, Supervisor Don Vyse said his offer was attractive because everyone agreed that the Light had to be saved but no one had yet offered an idea how this might be funded and accomplished. Dick Moehl will appear at the next St. James Town Board meeting to pursue his idea.

June 9th Election Results

Linda McDonough and John Fiegen were re-elected to the School Board for four-year terms. And the school operating millage (Headlee rollback) passed with 118 votes for and 27 votes against.

Rectory Auction

On June 27th two dozen people gathered at the Old Rectory to see who would be the top bidder in an auction to take over the defunct restaurant. Despite the interest, there was only one registered bidder, so the auctioneer announced there would be no auction and that bidder could negotiate with the seller on a price. Everyone left.

Not quite everyone, as it turned out. Keith Albin and Bud Martin decided to register. A half hour later, the auction was held, this time without the audience. The original registered bidder was Bob and Sue Welke, whose grandson just graduated from Cordon Bleu cooking school. He opened the bidding, but the two new bidders quickly took over the action. Albin thought the Rectory could become the location for his long-planned bowling alley, whereas Martin wanted a business that might bring his oldest daughter back to Beaver Island to run. The bidding was intense, and when the smoke cleared Martin had made the highest bid.

What happens next remains unclear. As the news swept through town some thought that questions of title, of reacquiring the liquor license, of unpaid taxes and bills, of replacing obsolete equipment, and of fixing the roof would be insurmountable.

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