Port Washington Lighthouse

Oct. 7, 2019

Port Washington Lighthouse, Port Washington, Wisconsin

Built in 1848, replaced by the Port Washington Breakwater Light in 1935.


Station Established: 1848
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1860
Operational? NO
Automated? NO
Deactivated: 1899
Foundation Materials: STONE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens:


  • The first light built at Port Washington was a free standing cylindrical tower built in 1848.
  • It was felt a larger structure was needed so a new light was authorized in 1860. The second lighthouse placed the lantern on top of the keeper’s house.
  • In 1870 an artificial harbor was created at Port Washington. This was done by building two parallel piers that extended out into the lake.
  • In 1903 with the placement of the pier light, this harbor light was discontinued.
  • In 1934 the lantern and lens were removed from the building and it was altered to provide housing.
  • In 1992 the building stopped being used to house Coast Guard personnel and was leased to Port Washington Historical Society.
  • In 1998 ownership was permanently transferred to the City of Port Washington with oversight of the National Park Service.
  • In 1999 the light was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • In 2000 the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg offered to build a replacement tower as a memorial to U.S. Servicemen who fought for the Grand Duchy in WWII. He had been on a visit in the area because of the large number of immigrants from Luxemburg that had settled in that area. The historical society raised money to prepare the building for the new tower.
  • In 2001 the new tower was restored by Luxemburg craftsman as a gift from the Grand Duchy. It was dedicated in 2002.

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