Lakes connection

Local tour opens door to past

Participants take photos and watch the sunset at the end of the evening lighthouse tour. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Maritime Museum on Tuesday hosted the first of its Evening Lighthouse Tours, which will continue every third Tuesday of each month into September.

Participants will receive a guided tour from Museum Director Hilary Billman, with individual presentations from various volunteers. This summer will be the museum’s second season of regularly scheduled evening tours.

“We (Billman and volunteer Greg Sandell) ended up doing it three times last year, and it was really fun,” Billman said. “We might of had more fun than the people on that tour.”

The evening tours differ from the museum’s daytime programs, in that they are “very organic.” Billman caters to the needs of the audience and lets them set the pace of the session during the evening events.

“Whatever we are in the mood for, we will do,” Billman said.

Dressed in period clothing, volunteer Mary Davis speaks to participants on the Evening Lighthouse tour about Eliza and Nelson Truckey, who served as lighthouse keepers from 1862-1865. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

For early risers, the museum will be holding Morning Lighthouse Tours every second Tuesday of the month through September. Both events offer community members and visitors an intimate look inside one of the most iconic structures in the area. Each tour ends out on the catwalk. From the catwalk, participants receive a stunning view of the city as the sun starts to fall below the tree line.

“It’s so beautiful up there with the sun setting. Everybody is always so appreciative at the end of the tour,” Billman said. “It always feels like we are doing a good thing by getting people out to see the lighthouse in the evening. It’s a good way to get people out where they normally wouldn’t be.”

Start times for the morning and evening tours vary to accommodate the sunrise and sunset. Participants can expect each session to last about 45 minutes.

For more information, call 906-226-2006 or email mqtmaritimemanager@gmail.com. Registration is required, and tours are free for members and $10 for non-members.

Museum Director Hilary Billman tells participants about ghostly sightings in the lighthouse. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)