Richard L. Moehl Papers, 1902-2017 and undated (majority within 1984-2015)
Using These Materials
- Richard L. Moehl Papers are open for research.
- Moehl, Richard L.
- Papers and a plethora of photographic materials of Dick Moehl, documenting his interest in, preservation, restoration and tourism projects and successes with Michigan lighthouses, lighthouse groups and related organizations, Boy Scouts of Troop 4, Ann Arbor, and the Mackinaw area. Some of these materials continue or expand the GLLKA organizational records collection, which is separately cataloged and housed at the Clarke.
- 15 cubic feet (in 21 boxes, 13 slide boxes, 6 Oversized folders, 2 Oversized Volumes)
- Collection processed and finding aid created by C. Stephens, B. Schamber, J. Lincoln, M. Matyn
- Scope and Content:
The collection consists of papers and a plethora of photographic materials of Dick Moehl, 1902-2017, and undated, documenting his interest in, preservation, restoration and tourism projects and successes with Michigan lighthouses, lighthouse groups and related organizations, Boy Scouts of Troop 4, Ann Arbor, and the Mackinaw area. The collection is organized by size and format, then alphabetically by topic within series. Some of these materials continue or expand the GLLKA organizational records collection, which is separately cataloged and housed at the Clarke. The major series of the collection include: Dick Moehl materials (mostly in Box 1); Subject files; Slides of Michigan lighthouses; and Oversized materials.
The Subject Files include: extensive documentation of Dick’s activities, allied organizations, and interests, including: Troop 4 Boy Scouts, awards, honors, history and lighthouse work, Eagle Scout projects and programs, GLLKA organizational records, records of the many historic, preservation, and tourism organizations Dick was associated with, St. Helena and Round Island light station projects and history, lighthouses (Michigan, national) preservation, restoration, dedication or re-dedication or re-opening events, Mackinaw/c city, Island, and County history, tourism, and current events, and general Michigan history or tourism topics or events.
Slides of Michigan lighthouses and Boy and Girl Scouts helping preserve and restore lighthouses, cruising, Michigan tourism, nature, Soo Locks, Mackinac Bridge, 1981, 2009, and undated.
There is also a slide box (Box 29) of thirteen Sony8 videocassettes, mostly of events at St. Helena Lighthouse, undated, 1989-1991, perhaps as late as 1993. These video cassettes can be viewed by connecting a Sony 8 or high 8 camera to a television screen.
Oversized Materials include: two lighthouse photograph albums, 1985 and 1986; and five Oversized folders of posters, notably a color photograph poster of the Boy Scouts at St. Helena Light with a pile of collected trash, 1993, drawings, including children’s art, a pennant, and architectural drawings of Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse Barn, by Northwest Design Group, Richard Newman, Architect, Preliminary Drawings A1.1-A1.3, S1.2, prepared for Mackinac State Historic Park, September 2004.
The 2018 addition to the Richard Moehl Collection, Acc# 76135, Boxes #30-34 and Oversized Folder #6, 1942, 2016, and undated includes: paper awards and certificates, notebooks and logs, correspondence concerning Moehl’s achievements and certifications, and photographs; five plaques awarded to Moehl; four trophies, The oversized folder includes a special tribute and a certificate.
Processing Note: During processing numerous duplicates and peripheral materials were removed from the collection (29.5 cubic feet). Over 3 cubic feet of personal materials and camera equipment were returned to Mrs. Moehl. Over 75 catalog entries were created for monographs and serials that were added to the Clarke’s collection. Also, some postcards and miscellaneous newsletters were added to the Michigan postcards collection and vertical files.
- Biographical / Historical:
Richard L. “Dick” Moehl was born the son of June (Andrews) and Ora Waller Moehl on November 9, 1931. He had a brother, Jack, who died at nine months, and two sisters, Charis Lo (1930-) and Peggy Yvonne (1933-). In 1940 the family moved from Detroit to Hamburg, near Brighton, Michigan. He loved the county life and was a member of Boy Scout Troop 56, eventually a Life Scout, although he did not become an Eagle Scout. Hamburg school ended in 10th grade. After that he was bused to high school in Ann Arbor, graduating in 1950. There he met his future wife, Margaret. Like most Americans, Dick pitched in on the home front during World War II. In 1950 he attended Michigan State for one term and then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force to serve during the Korean War as a flight instructor in Laon, France. Dick and Margaret married on March 21, 1953 before he shipped out for France. Together they had children and grandchildren.
In 1958 Dick earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He worked for 32 years as an investment advisor with Paine Webber Jackson and Curtis, Inc., 1955-1998. He was also a founding partner and registered investment advisor for Beacon Investment Company, 1982-1998. He retired in 1998.
A lighthouse enthusiast, Dick participated in a meeting of the Lighthouse Keepers Association in Port Huron, Michigan, in 1982 which led to the development of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA, for more about GLLKA, see the separate catalog record, finding aid, and collection documenting its history). Dick became a member of the GLLKA Steering Committee in 1983, the Lake Superior Coordinator and Secretary in 1984, and the second president of GLLKA in 1985, a position in which he served through 2012. With his leadership, GLLKA became a powerful, uniting force to be reckoned with in the state of Michigan and beyond concerning the saving of lighthouses, preservation of their history, and the significant expansion of tourism in the northern Lower Peninsula and Michigan in general. Dick testified before a congressional subcommittee on Coast Guard and Navigation Hearing on Lighthouse Preservation in 1986. That same year GLLKA received a 30-year license to restore and use St. Helena Island Light Station. Dick was the project manager for the restoration. In 1988-1989 he was a working member of a committee hosted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to develop a national agenda for lighthouse preservation. In 1988 St. Helena was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1989 Dick wrote and was awarded a grant to help restore St Helena, which was matched by the State of Michigan for a total of $40,000. From 1990-1994 Dick participated in the U.S. Coast Guard’s Lighthouse Study group. In 1991 he became the director of the Michigan Historic Preservation Network. In 1993 he was the co-creator and developer of the Sweetwater Trail in Michigan, a tourism concept celebrating lakeshore nature and history. Dick served as a consultant for the U.S. Postal Service’s “Lighthouses of the Great Lakes” design, 1994-1995, and organized the First Day of Issue ceremony in Cheboygan in 1995. In 1995 Dick became the project manager for continued restoration of Round Island Lighthouse. The following year Round Island was reestablished for the first time in 49 years as a private aid to navigation. In 1997 Dick was invited to join the Lighthouse Museum Feasibility Steering Committee, to develop a National Lighthouse Center and Museum in Michigan. Towards this effort he co-founded the Michigan Lighthouse Project, a collaboration of interested groups to facilitate the transfer of lighthouses in Michigan. Despite a fantastic effort this plan ultimately failed and New York State became the coveted center/museum. This effort is well documented in the GLLKA collaboration. In 1999 Dick became the president of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Museum, a non-profit, and the American Lighthouse Coordinating Committee, a national organization which coordinates the flow of information to the nation’s lighthouse organizations. In 2000 The National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act passed, helped by Dick’s various efforts.
Dick is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. Significantly, in 2000 Dick was awarded Governor John Engler’s Seventh Annual Service Award, “the Governor George Romney Lifetime Achievement Volunteer Service Award,” and in 2003 he was awarded the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History’s Award for Historic Preservation. Also he has been thanked by many school children whom he helped educate about and interest in lighthouses through presentations in their classrooms. Dick was also a positive leader, mentor, and supporter in the experience of many lighthouse enthusiasts and preservationists, and Boy Scouts, who he mentored and helped with their Eagle Scout lighthouse projects. Both GLLKA and Troop 4 Ann Arbor received many state and national awards for their lighthouse restoration and preservation efforts. It should be noted that some unidentified Girl Scouts also worked to save Michigan lighthouses.
Dick died on December 28, 2015. (This information is from the collection.)
- Acquisition Information:
- Acc #75092, 75746, 76014, 76135
The collection is organized by size and format, then alphabetically by topic within series.
Click on terms below to find any related finding aids on this site.
Lighthouses--Conservation and restoration--Michigan.
Lighthouses--Conservation and restoration--Michigan--Mackinac, Straits of.
Lighthouses--Law and legislation.
Lighthouses--Law and legislation--Michigan.
Lighthouses--Study and teaching.
Lighthouses--Great Lakes (North America)--Maps.
Lighthouses--Great Lakes (North America)--History.
Lighthouses--Great Lakes (North America)--Study and teaching.
Lighthouses--Michigan--Big Sable Point.
Lighthouses--Michigan--Mackinac, Straits of.
Mission Point Lighthouse (Mich.)--History.
Lighthouses--Michigan--Thunder Bay Island.
Icebreakers (Ships)--Great Lakes (North America)
Saint Helena Lighthouse (Mich.)--History.
McGulpin Point Lighthouse (Mich.)--History.
McGulpin Point Historic Site (Mich.)--History.
DeTour Reef Light (Mich.)
Grand Traverse Light Station (Mich.)--History.
Conservation of natural resources--Michigan.
Lighthouse keepers--United States--History.
Round Island Light House.
Tawas Point Light (Mich.)
Waugoshance Light (Mich.)
Children's poetry, American--Michigan.
Common garter snakes|--eeding and feeds--Michigan--Saint Helena Island.
Common garter snakes--Behavior--Michigan--Saint Helena Island.
Common garter snakes--Habitat--Michigan--Saint Helena Island.
United States. Coast Guard.
Boy Scouts of America. Michigan.
Girl Scouts of the United States of America.
Mackinac State Historic Parks.
Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.
DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society.
Grand Traverse Lighthouse Foundation (Mich.)
Keep Michigan Beautiful, Inc.
Northwest Design Group (Petoskey, Mich.)
Northeast Michigan History Consortium.
Edmund Fitzgerald (Ship)--History.
Moehl, Richard L.
Planisek, Sandra L.
Surface-Evans, Sarah L.
Howell, Ruth Eamon.
Halsey, John R.
Newmann, Richard, architect.
United States. President (1989-1993: Bush)
Celeste, Richard F.
Blanchard, James J.,1942-
Mackinac Bridge (Mich.)--History.
Emmet County (Mich.)--History.
Livingston County (Mich.)--History.
Saint Clair River (Mich. and Ont.)
Soo Locks (Mich.)--History.
Moran (Mackinac County, Mich. : Township)--History.
Mackinac Island (Mich.)--Buildings, structures, etc.
Mackinac Island (Mich.)--History.
Mackinaw City (Mich.)--Buildings, structures, etc.
Mackinaw City (Mich.)--History.
Mackinaw City (Mich.)--Social life and customs--20th century.
Manistee (Mich.)--Buildings, structures, etc.
Using These Materials
Richard L. Moehl Papers are open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Copyright is unknown.
- PREFERRED CITATION:
Richard L. Moehl Papers, Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University