About Us

Mission Statement:

The purpose of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum is to preserve the site and to enhance the public’s knowledge of the area’s maritime heritage.

Core Values:

  1. Promote high standards of excellence and professionalism.
  2. Serve a diverse audience.
  3. Provide a higher standard of museum practice.
  4. Engage the community.
  5. Collaborate with other organizations on a local, regional and national basis.
  6. Preserve the cultural and natural landscape.


Organization History:

The Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum was founded on August 4, 1984 by Northport Women’s Club members Charlotte Foote and Mary Russell.  The “Friends of the Lighthouse” was established and soon became a formalized 501(c)3 non-profit organization called the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Foundation (now the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum) with the goal of preserving the historic buildings and creating an interesting and education “living museum” for the public to enjoy.  The Museum was opened on Memorial Day in 1986 and since then thousands of people have visited and climbed the tower for a spectacular view of Lake Michigan.

Now, 32 years later, this dedicated group of volunteers, has surpassed all expectations and goals set forth.  Today, the lighthouse keeper’s dwelling is restored and filled with artifacts and tales of those adventurous “days gone by”.  Over the years, Museum members and friends have generously donated countless volunteers hours and financial support.  To date, we have raised and reinvested nearly 2 million dollars in this historic property.