On National Lighthouse Day, check out Wind Point!

posted by Eric Paulsen - 

Wind Point Lighthouse is one the tallest and oldest lighthouses on  the Great Lakes. It reaches 108 feet above the wavy waters of Lake  Michigan, helping ships navigate the coast since 1880. The original fog  house, walkways to the water, and parkland surrounding the lighthouse  itself are all accessible year ’round.

Tours of the lighthouse itself are available the first Sunday of the  month from June through October on the half-hour from 9am to 3pm.  Admission is $10 for adults and kids 12 and up; kids 6-11 are $5;  children under 6 are not allowed to climb the lighthouse due to safety  concerns.

The Wind Point Lighthouse is accessible via Lighthouse Road or 3 Mile Road, just east of Highway 32 north of Racine. You can also connect nearby from Highways 31 and 38.

Wind Point Lighthouse, built in 1880. You can climb up its steps on select Sundays in summer.

Here are Some fun facts about the lighthouse, courtesy of WindPointLighthouse.org:

  • Orlando Metcalfe Poe designed the lighthouse. He served in the Civil War as a Brigadier General.
  • The Lighthouse’s first lighting occurred on November 15, 1880.
  • The Fog Horn Building shows the original design with the huge fog horns aimed toward the Lake.
  • The fog signals traveled 10 miles out into Lake Michigan.
  • The Fresnel Lens used dozens of glass prisms to bend and focus the  light which made for an immensely powerful light. The original lens is  on loan from the Racine Heritage Museum. You can see it in the old Coast  Guard Keepers Quarters, which now serves as the Village Hall for the  Village of Wind Point.
  • A mechanism of weights, cables and pulleys rotated the enormous  Fresnel Lens to create the flashing that navigators on the Lake  recognized.
  • Fuel for the light had to be carried up the 144 iron steps and the  Keeper or his Assistants had to make that climb daily. About 270 gallons  were used in 1881.
  • The Keeper or his Assistants had to clean the Lens every day so that it sparkled.
  • 7 Head Keepers and more than 30 Assistant Keepers worked the Wind  Point Lighthouse from 1880 – 1964 when the light was automated.
  • In 1997, the U.S. Coast Guard transferred the Lighthouse to the  Village of Wind Point, though they continue responsibility of the light  itself.
The Capstar at Wind Point Lighthouse, with Lake Michigan in the background.
Wind Point Lighthouse's Historic Marker

See more on the Wind Point Lighthouse and other cool Wisconsin roads and destinations on my road trip website, StateTrunkTour.com!

Eric Paulsen

Eric Paulsen

I wanted to be in radio since I was four - and four decades later I still haven't grown out of it... Read more

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