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Bailey's Harbor Range Lights

Oct. 21, 2019
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Bailey's Harbor Range Lights (Baileys Harbor), near Bailey's Harbor, Door County, Wisconsin

BAILEYS HARBOR RANGE LIGHTS

Location: DOOR PENINSULA/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1853
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1870
Operational? NO
Automated? YES 1930
Deactivated: 1969. Re-Lit 1995.
Foundation Materials: FIELDSTONE
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: WHITE W/BLACK TRIM
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/BLACK TRIM
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER (REAR RANGE) 1897

HISTORICAL INFORMATION:

  • In 1868 Congress appropriated funds to build range lights to help ships enter Baileys Harbor.
  • The lights were first lit in 1870.
  • In 1923 the fuel was switched to acetylene gas. Previously kerosene had been used and prior to that lard or whale oil.
  • The light was electrified and automated in 1930.
  • In 1934 the land and buildings were transferred to the Door County Parks Commission.
  • In 1969 one of the lights was discontinued and a single light was used. The Fresnel lens was removed.
  • In the 1980’s the Door County Historical Society raised money to restore the range lights and restore a boardwalk that ran between the two lights.
  • Mariners complained about the inadequacy of the single light and the range lights were re-lit in 1995.
  • In 1998 the ownership of the range lights was transferred to the Door County Parks Commission.

Researched and written by Anne Puppa, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.