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Feb 3, 2014

Tawas Point Lighthouse
Tawas Point Lighthouse
Credit Peggy Allen / Tawas Point State Park

Live the life of a Victorian-era light keeper at Tawas Point Lighthouse.

That's the lure in an announcement this week that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is accepting applications for 2014.

Volunteers stay in renovated living quarters in the lighthouse. The accommodations  include two bedrooms, a kitchen and bathroom. In return, volunteers pay $250 per week and lead tours of the lighthouse or perform maintenance work.

Peggy Allen coordinates the Tawas Point lighthouse keeper program.  "It's a very unique experience to be able to be in something that's 138 years old. Plus it's kind of special here at Tawas because you can always see the sun rise and the sun set every day," she said.

Brett Saunders has volunteered three times. He said you don't need to be a lighthouse buff. He comes for photography and bird watching.

Saunders said on some days you can see bald eagles and underwater shipwrecks from the tower.

Chris Zimmel plans to volunteer for a second time. "You have unlimited access to the lighthouse, which is kind of magical in and of itself," she said. "It's also fun to meet with the public and talk about the function of lighthouses."

Zimmel said there are 85 steps to the top of  the tower, and the views are magnificent. She said some visitors choose the tower as a place to propose marriage.

Virginia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom