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Finally, Wisconsin! (pic heavy)

A forum to discuss lighthouses in the US Great Lakes Region
(Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and the lake lighthouses of New York & Pennsylvania)

Postby NoahG » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:35 pm


So I've been going to school in Milwaukee, WI since 2007, but haven't seen any lights north of Milwaukee, UNTIL NOW. Yesterday my girlfriend and I decided to take a loooong daytrip up to Kewaunee and back and to hit all the lights along the way. Conditions were beautiful in Port Washington, but quickly deteriorated thereafter into heavy rains that lasted long into the night. Anyway, while the pics are kinda crappy, I feel like posting a few with my comments and observations. Here goes:

Port Washington

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If you haven't been to Port Washington yet, you must go! Not only is the restoration job immaculate, but the collection of artifacts relating both to lighthouse and Port Washington history is incredible. This truly is a jewel of Great Lakes lighthouses.

Sheboygan North Breakwater

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The Sheboygan light is another one of the "classic" cast iron banded pierhead lights so common on Lake Michigan. Sadly the lantern has been lost, but this light still has a unique charm with its array of NOAA equipment. I've always had a soft spot for the more forelore of lighthouses and this one fits the bill.

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Note that the optics has recently been updated to a two-tier LED optic.

Manitowoc Breakwater

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The construction and design of this light is very unique. I'm really not sure what other light on the lakes it even relates to. It's quite an impressive structure, and from what I've read, the Manitowoc Maritime Museum has expressed interest in acquiring this light, a smart move I think.

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The riveting detail is really quite interesting and attractive.

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The bolts from the torched-off catwalk are still visible.

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The South Breakwater Light is a distant cousin of the D9, an AGA "hourglass" type tower.

Two Rivers Pierhead

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It's great to see this light in such good shape. As the only surviving example of a style that was once so so common on Lake Michigan, it deserves to be protected. I like this little red light, and clearly, Twin Rivers does too.

Rawley Point

If there is one light on the trip that everyone knows, its Rawley Point. It's truly Iconic. It was a wet day and, walking through the path to light, the air smelled beautifully of pine trees. Suddenly, the light appeared! The details on the tower are very interesting, it's a shame one can't get a closer look.

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As we know, the tower is a bit of an enigma. History says it was moved here from the Chicago pier, where it was originally built in 1859. But the pics of that light do not show a lower section of staircase. Do we assume the tower was modified, or is there something more to the story?

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History will also claim that the building is attached to a truncated section of the original tower. However I've always had reservations, as the diameter seems too large to be a tower. The Beacon confirmed my suspicions when it published a photo of the original light station as-built before the skeletal tower was added.

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Many older photos show a DCB 36 in the lantern room, however the present light is a VRB-25.

Kewaunee Pierhead

The final light of the day was at Kewaunee. This one proved to be my favorite. It certainly is Big Red's sister.

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Maybe it was the fading daylight, but this light evoked the true "lighthouse magic". Something about this light just stirred me.

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And then it hit me, this light still has its fifth order Fresnel lens! OMG! It's becoming increasingly rare to see a Fresnel in its natural habitat, and here one was, glowing with its steady burn light into the night. A steady burn light is rare enough for the modern USCG, let alone a true fresnel. There is an aura from the "loom" of the beautiful old Fresnel that causes the entire lantern room to glow with light. No modern beacon comes close.

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Of course, like any light, this one could use a little TLC. Luckily, Kewaunee came up for adoption in 2009 and hopefully the city will proceed in acquiring its beacon.


So that was a day of fine, fine lighthousing. Luckily, lighthouses don't lose anything in the rain, in fact they seem to come alive. If there was any downside to the day trip, its that I need to get a better camera.
Noah G.
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Postby Grover » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:52 am


Noah ...

You brought back some real good memories for me ... thanks!
"There are two pips in a beaut, four beauts in a lulu,
Eight lulus in a doozy, and sixteen doozies in a humdinger.

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there are in a lollapalooza."
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:32 pm


Noah....You should really get out more... :!:

Nice pics, anyway......Hadn't seen Kewaunee lit before... :D
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Postby NoahG » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:34 pm


Tough to get out when you don't own a car and you spend the entire semester living in the theatre.
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:41 pm


So....How did you get up there and back ?
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Postby NoahG » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:41 pm


Girlfriend was in town and she has a car. :D 8)
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:44 pm


Now that summer's here, you should have her come up more often...!!!

This is freaky, you know how long it's been since someone was on here with me ?
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Postby NoahG » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:54 pm


O yea it's summer and since I'll be back home in Michigan for two months soon we are already planning more lighthousing adventures.


Yea its really freaky, its not just me and my echo tonight.
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:29 pm


It's a new thing for me....been a long time.

Just got back from upstate NY myself....Have some pics to post as soon as I get them processed, as I still do film.

Check in a bit more if you can.....I'm still very interested in the upcoming Racine Reef replacement.....

Have a good summer also...... :D
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:25 am


For anyone who might be interested, I created a new post titled "The tower at Twin River (Rawley) Point" which I believe will answer the question about the Twin River Point tower came from, and where the tower at the Columbian Exposition went.
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Postby NoahG » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:36 pm


So it occurred to me today, why isn't Manitowoc painted red?
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