Devils Island Light

July 23, 2019

Devils Island Light, Devils Island, one of the Apostle Islands, Lake Superior, Ashland County, La Pointe, Wisconsin

Established 1901


Station Established: 1891
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1898
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1978
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER (1891) replaced by a THIRD ORDER, FRESNEL (1901) when new tower built.
Range: 22 miles (1901 lens)


  • In 1888 Congress approved a request from mariners to build a light at this location. The light was built and first lit in 1891 and housed a fourth order Fresnel lens.
  • In 1893 more funds were approved to build a better tower than the temporary wood tower built in 1891.This time a 71 foot cast-iron cylindrical tower was built. The tower was completed in 1898 but it was three years before the third-order Fresnel lens arrived.
  • In 1917 the tower was stabilized by placing bracing rods around the outside of the tower.
  • In 1928 President Calvin Coolidge visited the island and toured the lighthouse.
  • In 1978 the lighthouse was automated.
  • In 1989 the Fresnel lens was removed and replaced with a modern beacon. The state wanted the lens returned and sued the government. They won the case and the lens was returned to the tower in 1992. The modern solar powered beacon was moved outside on the gallery.

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