Volunteer lighthouse caretakers

MICHIGAN — Chris and Tim Irwin are Hiawatha National Forest’s Point Iroquois Lighthouse caretakers for the 2018 season. 

As volunteer caretakers, the Irwins will be responsible for many aspects of the Point Iroquois operation, including year-round maintenance of the historic site, daily operations of the museum and gift shop, building and grounds maintenance, and special projects. The job includes a wide variety of tasks, from cleaning, to mowing, to snow-blowing; from operating the gift shop, to keeping records and greeting guests. The couple will also oversee educational programming and guide intern and volunteer projects done onsite.

Photo: Irwins' selfie in snow. In the background is a house and lighthouse.
Chris and Tim Irwin, volunteer lighthouse caretakers. Photo courtesy Tim Irwin.

What led Chris and Tim to volunteer? The Irwins’ interests include historical reenactment and history. Point Iroquois Light is an aspect of history they couldn’t resist exploring. While reenacting shows how civilization on this continent developed, this light takes us from that turbulent past, from the massacre of the Iroquois at Iroquois Point, to Soo Locks and the development of this waterway. There is still so much to learn to properly interpret this historic site so we can link the people of the past to the people who visit today.

Although Tim was born in Washington state, and Chris was born in Wisconsin, they have lived in Michigan most of their lives. Tim is a recently retired U.S. Customs Broker, and Chris is a homemaker and seamstress specializing in 18th century reproduction clothing.