Spring is a beautiful time of year. The flowers begin to bloom, the trees begin to bud, and the birds are once again singing in the treetops.
What’s the best way to enjoy all this seasonal beauty? How about a bird’s eye view from atop one of many historic Door County beacons along the Peninsula’s coastline?
Without further ado, here are three can’t miss lighthouses in Sturgeon Bay, WI:
This brilliant white, steel lighthouse tower was first constructed in 1899, and stands 78 feet from the ground. The coastal beacon sits ashore the North Pier of the Sturgeon Bay/Lake Michigan ship canal entrance.
At the time of its construction, this tower was unique. Its cylindrical design of reinforced steel, including a cast iron lantern at the top, was a new concept in its day.
It, unfortunately, experienced years of vibration issues, which first occurred shortly after the lighthouse became operational. The wind often shook the structure to the point of disrupting its light function.
Several remedies were attempted over the years, and it was finally cured of its ailment by the construction of the steel framework that still exists today.
Its grounds aren’t normally open to the public, but annuals tours are offered in the summer season, through the Door County Maritime Museum.
Connected to the previously mentioned light tower by way of steel bridge, this historic landmark was first constructed in 1881. It stands 35 feet above the water on the outer pier of the north entrance to the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal.
Over time, a keeper’s dwelling was built around the original structure to fit multiple light keepers, due to an increased workload. While this landmark is famous for its bright red paint job, the first renovation project was actually white and later repainted.
Today, the North Pierhead Light stands the test of time as a fully functional light station. It became completely automated in 1972 and continues to be manned by the United States Coast Guard to this day.
The structure itself is closed to the public, but the lower level break wall may be accessed for a closer look.
Built in 1883 as a beacon for ships traveling from Green Bay to Sturgeon Bay, the 35-foot-tall lighthouse tower and brick, two-story keeper’s dwelling reside at Sherwood Point.
The lantern, here, once produced both a fixed white light and a flashing red light, but the bulb was defective. This would sporadically cause the lighthouse to stop working. The bulb was replaced with a Fresnel lens, and a fog signal was also added, in 1892.
This architectural gem has been operated by the U.S. Coast Guard since 1941 and wasn’t fully automated until 1983, making the Sherwood Point Lighthouse the last manned beacon on the Great Lakes.
Today, the tower and attached keeper’s dwelling are used as a rental facility for U.S. military members looking for a place to recharge their batteries. The grounds can only be accessed publicly during certain times of year.
These historic landmarks are still in operation, and therefore, are not open to the public regularly. However, you’re in luck!
From June 9th to 11th in 2017, the Door County Maritime Museum will be holding its 24th Annual Lighthouse Festival.
This exciting event allows visitors an inside look at 11 historic lighthouses spread along the Door County peninsula’s coastline. Tour the beacons from land and sea with guided boat excursions and walking tours.
After a fun-filled weekend of exploring Door County’s storied past and marveling at the peninsula’s incredible lighthouse landscapes, come relax with us at Bay Shore Inn.