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; and since it didn’t say anything about kids 5 and under, we’ll assume they’re free.
Check out their Video Tour!
Fun facts, 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.
4725 Lighthouse Drive
Wind Point, WI 53402