Welcome to the north manitou light keepers


Are you interested in helping to preserve an iconic piece of Michigan maritime history?

If so, please Click below to learn more about our membership opportunities.


North Manitou Light Keepers (“NMLK”) is a team of stewards dedicated to rehabilitating, maintaining, and appreciating the North Manitou Shoal Light in Leelanau County, Michigan.  This offshore lighthouse, known locally as “The Crib” due to its design, is a wonderful piece of Lake Michigan maritime history.  It sits amidst the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Manitou Islands, in the middle of some of America’s most beautiful landscape.

The Crib houses currently active navigational equipment maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.  Since 1980 when its navigational equipment was automated, however, the structure of the lighthouse has remained empty and lightly maintained.  A meaningful restoration of the lighthouse structure is necessary to stop its further deterioration, make it “pretty” again, and make it available to the public for viewing and appreciation.

In the summer of 2016, the U.S. General Services Administration opened an auction to sell the North Manitou Shoal Light.  Upon hearing this news, four families of dreamers and doers rallied together to bid on and win the auction for the lighthouse.  Daniel and Anna Oginsky, Dave and Sherry McWilliam, Todd and Natalie Buckley, and Jake and Suzanne Kaberle founded NMLK, with the goal of acquiring The Crib and completing its restoration and opening it to the public by July 4, 2021.  Officially, NMLK was established on August 16, 2016 as a Michigan non-profit corporation named North Manitou Light Keepers, Inc.  NMLK is managed by its board of directors, who are Daniel Oginsky (President), Anna Oginsky, Dave McWilliam, Todd Buckley, and Jake Kaberle.

After winning the public auction for the North Manitou Shoal Light, NMLK received official notification from the U.S. General Services Administration that its bid was accepted on September 28, 2016.  In June 2017 NMLK completed its acquisition upon receiving approval from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to occupy the “bottomlands” (at the bottom of Lake Michigan) on which The Crib sits. 

NMLK is moving forward with its plan to restore the lighthouse and complete the work necessary to open to the public on July 4, 2021, and invites those who share the passion, dream and commitment to care for this piece of history to join in on the mission. Member benefits at $50, $100 and $250, provide increased levels of involvement and support.

Additionally, the organization launched its “Campaign For The Crib” capital fundraising effort to cover the renovation costs of the coming years. Donation levels begin at $1000. All donations to the organization are tax deductible.

Click below for WJR Interview with NMLK Board President, Daniel Oginsky - July 2017


the north manitou shoal light

The North Manitou Shoal Light is an offshore lighthouse in Leelanau County, Michigan.  It sits one mile offshore of North Manitou Island in Lake Michigan, and eight miles offshore of Leland, Michigan. The lighthouse is beloved by many whom have expressed a great desire to see if rehabilitated.  At the same time, many recognize that its restoration will be a challenging task that requires a commitment of much effort, time, and resources.


The North Manitou Light Keepers

North Manitou Light Keepers (“NMLK”) is a team of stewards dedicated to rehabilitating, maintaining, and appreciating the North Manitou Shoal Light in Leelanau County, Michigan. Take some time to get to know the team, why they're passionate about this project and a little bit of their backgrounds.


our mission

our mission is to restore and preserve the north manitou shoal light, make it and its history available to the public for education and appreciation, and cultivate an active community of stewardship for this piece of michigan maritime history that stands amidst one of america's most beautiful places.