The 1860 Lighthouse and Light Station Museum
at 311 Johnson Street

Port Washington Lighthouse 1935-2001

Lighthouse 1935-2001

The first lighthouse, built in 1849, was a small cottage with a free-standing tower. It proved inadequate and was replaced in 1860 by the current lighthouse that is a part of the light station property. In 2000, with an offer from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to replicate the tower and lantern that had been removed by the Coast Guard, the Port Washington Historical Society moved forward to restore the Light Station property.

During the decades the lighthouse served as a duplex, the interior had been considerably altered. In 2001 restoration began with a demolition of the interior of the first floor and partially of the second floor. Stairways to upper levels were reconstructed, rooms were re-established to historic placement, flooring restored or replaced, and mechanicals replaced. Restoration continued with replacement of windows and exterior doors, and the building was made handicap accessible.

The painted brick fa├žade was restored to its natural finish. The tower and lantern room built in Luxembourg were installed on the roof by Luxembourg workmen after access from the lower levels through the roof were completed. Red metal shingles were added to the reconstructed roof after the tower installation.

Restored Port Washington Light Station

Restored Light Station

The 1934 generator building exterior has been restored, a replica oil house built and the well marked. Marine artifacts have been added to the yard. The generator building now houses a small maritime museum. Over $330,000 and thousands of hours of volunteer labor, donated materials and services have been expended to restore this icon of the community.

The 1860 Lighthouse and Light Station Museum are on the Wisconsin and National Registers of Historic Places.

1860 Lighthouse and Light Station Museum Restoration

Image caption.


1860 Lighthouse and Light Station Port Exploreum Resource Center