High Lake Michigan water levels and increasingly greater flow over the Leland Dam have revealed additional structural issues to the Village Cheese Shop, Carlson’s Fishery, and the Morris Shanty — already in critical condition. The shanty foundations require immediate and extensive foundation work and the Fishtown docks require far more than a few new pilings originally specked in the plans — they need to be entirely replaced. Construction and materials costs continue to increase. And the need is more urgent than ever.
The Campaign for Fishtown was created to raise the funds needed to repay the final installment of the debt incurred as part of the acquisition of the Fishtown properties in 2007 (achieved on February 7, 2019*), to resolve critical infrastructure and drainage issues, to rehabilitate the three shanties (not included in the 2014 shanty projects), to replace all the docks, to address accessibility, and other site issues. The high water has exacerbated an already desperate situation. We still need to raise $1,650,000 to secure Fishtown, and we need your help.
When will the Campaign-funded Fishtown site projects begin?
Fishtown Preservation has received emergency permits to begin work on the Village Cheese Shanty, and the Morris Shanty in December, 2019. We are waiting for additional required permits for the rest of the projects. Permits are needed from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for projects where the land meets the water. Getting permits can be an arduous process, and also require reviews by the State Historic Preservation Office and local Tribal units of government.
Due to the permitting process and available funding, at this time we are phasing the projects:
- Phase I — Rehabilitate the Village Cheese Shanty, the Morris Shanty and their adjacent docks, December 2019 – Spring 2020
- Phase II — Pending permits and funding, Phase II includes the Carlson Fishery, remaining docks on both sides of the river, W. River Street drainage, retaining wall, access issues and native plant landscaping, November 2020 – Spring 2021
Fishtown Needs Your Help
Your investment now ensures that Fishtown Preservation can take care of Fishtown into the future. In helping to fund the Campaign for Fishtown, you become part of a dedicated group of individuals, families and foundations preserving not only a regional treasure, but also one of Michigan’s rare historical gems. Fishtown is a place where generations come — where the past and future are both alive. You can support Fishtown with:
- One-time gift of cash or securities
- Multi-year pledge forms:
– Campaign for Fishtown pledge form – payable by December 31, 2021
- For more information call Amanda Holmes at 231-256-8878 or email [email protected]
First Campaign milestone – debt retirement in February 2019
*Fishtown Preservation is proud to announce that, on February 7, 2019, we paid the final mortgage installment for the Fishtown property. Thanks to the incredible support of our donors, Fishtown now belongs to everyone, free and clear.
Thank you to all who have contributed to the Campaign for Fishtown. Special thanks to those who helped us achieve the Jeffris Family Foundation challenge grant and to the Anonymous Donor who helped inspire the gifts. We are also grateful to the Consumers Energy Foundation for helping us reach this goal. In addition, four amazing donors came forward to match gifts on Giving Tuesday, December 3, 2019. We received nearly $90,000 from 394 individuals in challenges and matching gifts on this global day of giving. Thank you again, to everyone, for your love and support of Fishtown!