Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Featured Lighthouse #19- Old Port Washington- Port Washington, WI

Nothing remains of Port Washington's first lighthouse that was constructed atop St. Mary's Hill, just north of the harbor in 1849. The tower was poorly constructed and was replaced with the current lighthouse in 1860, the year set in brick on the front of the building. The light was discontinued in 1903, as the pierhead light that had been added to the harbor in 1889 was deemed sufficient for navigational needs. The Port Washington Lighthouse still continued to house the keepers who maintained the pierhead light and later served as housing for the Coast Guard. The original tower was removed from the dwelling around 1934 when the new pierhead light was added. In 1992, the old lighthouse was leased to the Port Washington Historical Lighthouse, and the group obtained ownership of the property in 1998. Painted white and without its tower, the original purpose of the structure was masked. The historical society began a restoration in 2000, which included the addition of a tower and the removal of the exterior paint. A dedication ceremony was held on June 16, 2002.

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