Promoting Responsible Heritage Tourism through Public Archaeology at Two Great Lakes Lighthouses

Author(s): S.K. Haase; Sarah Surface-Evans

Year: 2015


Central Michigan University recently undertook a series of public archaeology projects in cooperation with local historical societies and county governments in to investigate two northern Michigan lighthouses that are public parks. The McGulpin Point Lighthouse operated from 1869 to 1906 and was purchased by Emmett County in 2009. The 40 Mile Point Lighthouse was built in 1897, was deeded to Presque Isle County in 1998. The modern political and socioeconomic conditions of the two counties are extremely different, but in both cases archaeological investigations were sought to attract public to the parks. Emmet County, located at the Straits of Mackinaw, already relies heavily on tourism (particularly heritage tourism) for its economy. Presque Isle County, located in the northeast side of the Michigan’s Lower Peninsula has extremely high unemployment and few tourist destinations. We compare and contrast the public archaeology projects at these two sites and explore the ways in which archaeology produced more meaningful experiences with history for tourists and community members. In both cases, our work also included educating society members and public officials of their ethical obligations for responsible heritage tourism.

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Cite this Record

Promoting Responsible Heritage Tourism through Public Archaeology at Two Great Lakes Lighthouses. Sarah Surface-Evans, S.K. Haase. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396306)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;