Pilot Island Light (Port des Morts Island Light), near Gills Rock, Pilot Island, Door County, Wisconsin
PILOT ISLAND LIGHT
Location: PORTE DES MORTS PASSAGE/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1858
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1873
Automated? YES 1962
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: YELLOW WITH RED ROOF
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL
- In 1858 a light was built on Porte des Mortes Island.
- In 1864 a fog signal was installed.
- In 1875 a more powerful fog signal was installed to address complaints that the existing one was inadequate.
- In 1880 a backup signal was installed.
- In 1891 a dock and boathouse were added to the west side of the island to make landing easier and less dangerous.
- In 1962 the light was automated and the Fresnel lens was removed at either that time or a later date.
- In 1972 the light was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
- In 1975 the Island was renamed Pilot Island.
- In 1980 the light was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
- The buildings are maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources while the optic is maintained by the Coast Guard.
Researched and written by Anne Puppa, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.