"Halloween" at Grand Traverse Light

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Postby Grover1 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:35 am

From MLive

Picture Halloween at the Munsters ... Herman, Lily, Grandpa..

The Halloween haunting at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Northport has overtones of the 1970s TV series classic ... with the main floor decorated in a family-friendly version.

The hackles rise further in the normally off-limits basement of the 150-year-old lighthouse. Pretty much an adults-only spookathon there, with people coming out of false walls.

"We hear screams in the basement all the time," said Stefanie Staley, executive director of the Grand Traverse Museum, ho-huming what might alarm the less jaded.

And did we mention pirates? Lots of them?

You can see for yourself from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 19.

Price is $4 for adults 19 and older; and kids 6-18 are $2.

The lighthouse is open noon to 4 p.m. daily through October, then weekends in November through Dec. 7.

By the time of the Christmas open house on Dec. 7 from noon to 4 p.m., with its lighthouse keeper's Christmas and an airborne drop of treats for children in a tradition that began decades ago in the East, the Lighthouse may be a national winner.

Grand Traverse Lighthouse, on Lake Michigan at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula in Leelanau State Park, is one of three finalists, chosen from a field of 50 in a national restoration contest sponsored by window and door manufacturer Jeld-Wen Inc. of Klamath Falls, Ore. The other finalists are the Bodie Island Lighthouse in North Carolina and the New Canal Lighthouse in Louisiana.

Replacing all 50 windows and four doors on the structure would cost about $60,000, Staley said, not that lighthouse officials expect all 50 would be replaced if they do win. Some lighthouses have only 6 windows, she said.

The lighthouse was built in 1858, and the windows are the building's second set -- installed in 1950 when the U.S. Coast Guard took over the site.

In addition to half a million votes from the public on the company Web site, which narrowed the field, the selection hinges on the lighthouse's need, historic preservation process and overall restoration plans, said Lynne Butterworth, communications manager for Jeld-Wen, and the woman in charge of the lighthouse project.

The company plans to announce this year's winner this fall, hopefully by early November, she said.

Lighthouse aficionados can read more about Grand Traverse Lighthouse at grandtraverselighthouse.com and more about this year's finalists in the lighthouse restoration project at jeld-wen.com/lighthouse.
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