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Name: Port Washington Light  

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Also known as: Old Port Washington Light

Nearest Town or City:
Port Washington, Wisconsin, United States

Location: Port Washington Harbor, Lake Michigan.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: Alan Culley

Managing Organization:
Port Washington Historical Society

Telephone: 262-284-7240


Contact Address Information:
P.O. Box 491
Port Washington
Wisconsin, 53074, United States

The 1860 structure was extensively renovated in 1934. The interior was completely gutted and the tower and lantern were demolished. The dwelling was converted to a duplex, which housed USLHS keepers and Coast Guard personnel who tended the new pierhead lighthouse constructed in 1935. The interior of the keeper's dwelling has been restored to its 1860 floor plan. The dwelling has been redecorated based on the memories of Jeannette Lewis Dallmann, granddaughter of Keeper Charles Lewis. Jeannette and her twin sister, Geneveve, lived with their grandparents at the station from 1919 to 1925. Charles and his wife, Linda Teed Lewis, continued to reside at the station from 1924 to 1934 as caretakers, after the station was closed in 1924. Charles's father, Charles Lewis Sr., served as keeper at Port Washington, 1874-1880. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg built a new tower and nine-sided lantern in Luxembourg and shipped it to the United States. FedEx donated the transportation of the tower and lantern from JFK International Airport in New York City to Port Washington, WI. On April 22, 2002, six Luxembourg craftsmen, with the assistance of local volunteers and a huge crane donated by Azco Crane of Appleton, WI, installed the tower and lantern on the 1860 building. Luxembourg recreated this historic tower and lantern as a tribute to the Luxembourg immigrants that settled in the Port Washington area in the 1840s and 1850s and also in memory of the American GIs who liberated their country during the Battle of the Bulge in September 1944. The 1860 Light Station is now owned by the City of Port Washington, WI. The Port Washington Historical Society led the restoration project and operates the site with no public funding. The group is raising funds to buy a replica Fresnel lens to install in the lantern; donations are welcomed.

Description of Tower: Square tower and lantern on roof of dwelling

This light is not operational

Date Established: 1849

Date Present Tower Built: 1860

Date Deactivated: 1903

Optics: 1860: Fourth order Fresnel.

Current Use: Museum.

Open To Public? Yes.

The hours for the light station are Saturdays. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays: noon to 4 p.m. Other times by chance. Open April 15 through October 15. Group tours welcome anytime, year round, with prior confirmation. The tower and lantern are accessible to those 7 years and up. Access is via three ships' ladders. A liability waiver must be signed to ascend the tower.

The light station is at Johnson and Power Streets in downtown Port Washington.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Keepers: Charles Lewis Sr. (1874-1880), Charles Lewis Jr. (1880-1924)


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