Heritage Museum Announces 2017 Lighthouse Tours

May 19, 2017 2:28 pm Published by

This summer, the Heritage Museum & Cultural Center will introduce expanded tour offerings at the St. Joseph North Pier Lighthouse and visiting hours at the museum itself. The Heritage Museum will now remain open to visitors until 8:00pm on Thursdays, year-round, with no admission fee. Last year marked the first-ever public lighthouse tours, following an extensive, award-winning restoration by the City of St. Joseph. This summer, in addition to walking tours, the first floor of the Inner Light and Fog Signal Building will be open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays, free of charge, weather permitting.

2017 Schedule of St. Joe Lighthouse Tours

The goal of the expanded programing at the Lighthouse is to make the tours more flexible and accessible to the public. “These are such iconic structures,” said Lighthouse Tour Manager, Claire Herhold. “Everybody has a story about their experience on the pier or at the Light. We’re so excited that even more people will have a chance this summer to come inside and learn about the incredible history here!” All tours and open hours are subject to last minute cancellations due to weather or lake conditions, and all visitors will be required to sign a Waiver of Liability. “The public’s safety is our number one priority,” added Herhold. More important information is included below about Lighthouse Tour policies and advisories.

The most comprehensive way to experience the Lighthouse is to attend an hour-long guided walking tour of the North Pier, which culminates in an optional climb up to the lantern room inside the Inner Light. North Pier Walking Tours are scheduled every Friday and Saturday, June 2 through September 2, at 10:00am. Anyone climbing the tower must meet the minimum height requirement of 48 inches. To register, please purchase your tickets online at www.StJoeLighthouseTours.org or call the Heritage Museum at (269) 983-1191.

Following the Friday and Saturday Walking Tours, Open Hours are scheduled at the Inner Light & Fog Signal Building from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Volunteer guides will help connect visitors to the history of the Keepers who maintained the lights and the many vessels who relied on them.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2017

Every Friday and Saturday (June 2 through September 2):

       North Pier Walking Tour leaves from beach at 10:00am

  • $12 Adult Ticket. $7 Child Ticket. Reservations recommended.
  • Purchase Tickets at StJoeLighthouseTours.org or call 269-983-1191.
  • A one hour guided historical tour of the North Pier, including optional climb and lantern tour inside the Inner Light and Fog Signal Building.

       Inner Light Open Hours 11:00am-2:00pm

  • First floor open to public visitors, free of charge.
  • First-come/ first-served Tickets to climb upstairs for Lantern Tour: $10 Adult. $5 Child.

2017 Select Days with Special Open Hours:

  • Wednesday, June 21 (Solstice Sunset), Open 7:00-10:00pm
  • Saturday, July 15, Open 7:00-10:00pm
  • Sunday, August 6, Open 11:00am-2:00pm
  • Sunday, September 3, 2017 (Tri-State Regatta), Open 8:00-11:00am

Private tours are also available to groups for a non-refundable fee of $350. The Heritage Museum also offers speakers for short beach programs or longer PowerPoint presentations on St. Joseph’s Lighthouse history. For more information, please call the Heritage Museum or e-mail StJoeLighthouseTours@theheritagemcc.org.

Important St. Joe Lighthouse Tour Information

Safety Notice: If the weather or lake conditions become hazardous, scheduled tours and open hours may be cancelled for safety reasons. Please be advised that cancellation decisions typically occur at the last minute. Thank you for your understanding!

Parking at Tiscornia Park: The daily parking fee set by the City of St. Joseph is not included in the tour price. Please pay for parking at the self-serve machine in the parking lot prior to your walking tour or lighthouse visit.

Liability Release: All tour participants or the parent/guardian of minor participants will be required to sign a general liability waiver. The North Pier has many uneven walking surfaces and is subject to weather conditions including waves. There are stairs and a tall step to enter the Inner Light & Fog Signal Building, and optionally, a tall ladder and spiral stairs for those wishing to climb up to the lantern room.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Ladder Height/Age Requirement: A height of 48 inches is required to climb the ladder up to the lantern room.  Adults who are responsible for youth under age 18 should use their knowledge of the young person’s ability to climb and descend the ladder alone to determine if the youth should be allowed to ascend.

Recommended Attire: Comfortable closed-toe walking shoes are strongly recommended. No thong-type sandals will be allowed on the ladder. Please dress for the weather; tours may be held in the rain. Sunscreen and sunglasses are advised; skirts and dresses are not advised.

For More Information

For more information, please visit StJoeLighthouseTours.org or TheHeritageMCC.org. “Like” our Facebook Page St. Joe Lighthouse Tours to connect with lighthouse information, event reminders, and updates about the current weather and status of scheduled tours and open hours. Contact us at the Heritage Museum by phone, (269) 983-1191, or by e-mail at StJoeLighthouseTours@theheritagemcc.org or info@theheritagemcc.org.