The biggest historic lighthouse preservation project ever undertaken at the lighthouses in Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands was underway this past summer.
Workmen, that included roofers, painters, carpenters, masons, glaziers and laborers, along with barges, scaffolding and various other equipment could be found at the Michigan Island Lighthouses, Devils Island Lighthouse, La Pointe Lighthouse and Sand Island Lighthouse.
The project, costing in the millions, which had been in the planning stages for years, was finally in progress.
The biggest part of the effort was and is for Michigan Island’s two historic lighthouses where crews cleared four acres of encroaching trees to partially restore the original light station grounds, the reroofing of the keeper’s house, power house, and assistant keeper’s house. Also, the old and first light at the site will be repaired and repainted including the refurbishing of the doors, windows and plaster and preparing the site for historical exhibits. The base of the new (1929) lighthouse at the site was also being repaired as well as its windows and iron columns. In addition to all of this, the old tramway was restored with new ballast and ties and badly needed repairs were made to the dock.
Reroofing, repointing and repainting also took place at Outer Island Lighthouse and the restoration of the fog signal building took place.
At Devils Island Lighthouse the tower is undergoing major repairs to its concrete footings and the keeper’s and assistant keeper’s house underwent major restoration including repairs to the windows, porches, interiors. Also the fog signal building was rehabilitated and encroaching trees and brush were cleared.
The La Pointe Lighthouse was also a recipient of repairs to its concrete footings and minor repairs to the tower. The keeper’s house also saw efforts to combat moisture and mold and the thinning of trees and brush took place.
The Sand Island Lighthouse is getting an urgently needed new metal roof and gutter repairs, however other needed work is being held off awaiting future funding.
All in all, 2013 is a big year for the saving of the lighthouses of the Apostle Islands for future generations.
This story appeared in the
Sep/Oct 2013 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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