Historic Michigan Lighthouses Hit GSA Auction Block

Online auction allows public to own a piece of history.

For Immediate Release – July 10, 2015   

Long shot of Skilligalee Light Station, a 52-foot white tower on grassy knollCHICAGO – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announces the public sale of three lighthouses in Michigan in an effort to find new owners for these historic structures.

Information on the Lighthouses

  • Gravelly Shoal Light, constructed in 1939, is on the western side of Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron. This 65-foot reinforced concrete and steel tower with white markings is situated on a crib foundation five miles offshore from Aux Gres Township and is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Spectacle Reef Light, constructed in 1874, is located in Lake Huron about 11 miles east of Bois Blanc Island. Sitting atop a concrete crib, the light consists of a 86-foot gray conical tower with a small white building attached to the base of the tower. This light is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Isle Aux Galets Light Station, commonly called Skilligalee, is located seven miles offshore from Cross Village in Lake Michigan. The 52-foot structure was constructed in 1888 and marks a gravel shoal at the extreme south end of Grays Reef passage. The light is still an active and significant aid to navigation for the shipping channel and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.)

About the Auctions

  • As part of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA) program, GSA is offering these lighthouses through an online auction at realestatesales.gov.
  • Interested bidders will need to complete an online registration form and submit a registration deposit.
  • These lighthouses occupy Great Lakes Public Trust bottomlands owned by the state of Michigan. Prior to conveyance of the lighthouse, the purchaser must obtain a Private Use Agreement from the State of Michigan.
  • In order to be eligible to apply for a Private Use Agreement from the state of Michigan, the winning bidder for each lighthouse must be a non-profit organization. Prior to conveyance of the lighthouse, the purchaser must provide proof of their state articles of incorporation as a non-profit organization.

GSA’s Great Lakes Regional Administrator Ann P. Kalayil said GSA has a responsibility to dispose of excess government real estate assets, including historic lighthouses.

“Lighthouses like these in Michigan have deep roots and sentimental value as local historic landmarks. Through public sales, GSA helps the U.S. Coast Guard find owners for lighthouses that aren’t critical to its mission.”

Since 2000, more than 100 lighthouses have been sold or transferred out of federal ownership, with 73 transferred at no cost to preservationists, and 41 sold by auction to the public.


The mission of GSA is to deliver best value in real estate, acquisition and technology services to government and the American people. The agency delivers this commitment through six priority areas that include: delivering better value and savings; serving our partners; expanding opportunities for small businesses; creating a more sustainable government; leading with innovation; and building a stronger GSA.

Last Reviewed 2016-01-14