Scenic USA - Wisconsin

Port Washington Lighthouse

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Port Washington Lighthouse - Ozaukee County, Wisconsin

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   The Port Washington Lighthouse has been watching over her harbor from up on St. Mary's Hill for over 150 years. Out of commission for 80 years, the recent lighthouse restoration effort offers a touching story. When the North Breakwater Light was placed on a newly extend 2500 foot-long breakwater in 1935, the services of the original Port Washington Light were no longer needed. The old light station was converted into a keepers' quarters. Unable to recognize the historic value at the time, the tower and lantern room were torn down. Although the pier lighthouses were automated in the 1970s, Coast Guard personnel remained at the old light station until 1991.
   In 1993, the Port Washington Historical Society stepped in, saving the lighthouse from an unforeseeable future. The society's plans initiated the process to have the property listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Soon after, the property was reopened as a museum. In the fall of 2000, the Historical Society met up with a most surprising project partner, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. In honor of the American GIs who liberated their country from Germany during World War II, Luxembourg artisans built an exact replica of the original tower and lantern room. Veterans Memorial Park Shipped across the Atlantic, the lantern room, tower and six Luxembourg craftsmen arrived in April 2002 to assemble the structure and install it in place. Today, nearly 80 percent of the interior has been rebuilt to mirror 1860 floor plans. The light station decor is based on the memories of Jeannette Lewis Dallmann, granddaughter of Port Washington light keeper, Charles H. Lewis Jr.
   Harbor views of the art deco designed North Breakwater Light and the south pier's candlestick can be seen from Port Washington's Veteran's Memorial Park on Lake Street. The park offers beach access, a concert band shell, playground, picnic area, and clear views of the harbor and St. Mary’s Hill.

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