WEEKAWAY: Exploring the historic lighthouses of Lake Michigan

Photo courtesy Port Washington Tourism
Photo courtesy Port Washington Tourism

From the Straits of Mackinac in the north to the Indian shore in the South, Lake Michigan is ringed with historic lighthouses that were built to help guide ships navigating the Great Lake’s waters to safe harbors. Some of the more remarkable lighthouses in Wisconsin are located at Lake Michigan.

Seul Choix Point

This lighthouse is located on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, in the small town of Gulliver. Built on a hill that was the town’s highest point, the lighthouse allowed watchmen to locate and assist ships in need. Construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1849, but the tower was then rebuilt in 1860. Now a historic site owned and operated by the town, you can visit the museum and climb the tower during the day in the high season.

Menominee North Pier

Though it is in disrepair, this lighthouse is still an impressive site. Located on the northern shore of Green Bay near the mouth of the Menominee River on the Wisconsin-Michigan border, the Menominee North Pier offers an impressive view of Green Bay.

Rawley Point

First lit in 1874, the Rawley Point lighthouse at Two Rivers is still operational today. Over a century later, by 1979, the lighthouse became fully automated and the lighthouse keepers’ home was converted into a cottage rented out to the Coast Guard.

Port Washington Harbor

The city’s first lighthouse was built on the north side of the harbor in 1849, and replaced in 1860. When the Federal Government provided funds to build two new breakwaters here in the 1930s, a new tower was built out on the pier. The old lighthouse dwelling is currently a museum run by the Port Washington Historical Society, featuring educational exhibits about local history.

For more information on attractions and events in scenic Port Washington, call Port Washington Tourism today at 800-719-4881.


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