Touring the North Point Light in Milwaukee


The North Point Light in Milwaukee
The North Point Light in Milwaukee

Eighty Four steps takes you to a grand view of Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee skyline from the North Point Lighthouse at Lake Park on Milwaukee's East Side. Few realize that this historic lighthouse is open to the public. A modest fee of $8 per adult gets you a personalized tour of the one room museum in the light keeper's house and a chance to climb the spiral staircase to the lantern room. Tour times are limited to Saturday, and Sunday afternoons.





The North Point Light in Milwaukee
View of Milwaukee Harbor from the Lantern Room of the North Point Lighthouse


A pillar of fire by the night, the North Point Light Station had been the Milwaukee beacon for sailors of Great Lake Michigan from 1838 to 1994.

It was originally established at the end of Wisconsin Avenue near the location of the Di Suvero sculpture at the Miller Pavilion. In 1855 the lighthouse was moved to its present location near the beach at Lake Park. In 1887 it was moved further up the bluff.

At the pinnacle of it's octagonal tower the lantern house was fitted with a fourth order Fresnel lens that projected 21 miles out into the lake and marked the northern point of Milwaukee harbor.

In 1912 it was raised again to clear the tops of trees planted along the bluff in Lake Park. At the time it stood higher above the great lakes than any other lighthouse at 154 feet. It continued to serve as a navigational aid until the late 1990's when the Coast Guard retired it. With advanced navigational aids such as GPS the usefulness of lighthouses has greatly diminished.

This fascinating history of Milwaukee's maritime roots and the personal stories of shipwrecks and lifesaving missions conducted by the North Point lighthouse keepers are told in great detail and supported by artifacts in a beautiful museum in the keeper's house.

But, the real excitement of visiting the lighthouse in Milwaukee is the climb up a cast iron spiral staircase to the lantern room. On a clear day you can see about as far as the light once shined - 21 miles. From this height you will spy all of the many sailboats and ships navigating around Milwaukee harbor on a summer weekend afternoon.

There is a certain mystique which draws curiosity seekers and history buffs to find and visit lighthouses. For many, visiting a lighthouse is a reverent act of respect for a place that is connected to both the perils of the sea and the promise of safe harbor. The light is a watcher; salvation for the anxious; a faithful reminder that we neither tread nor sail alone in this oftentimes dark world.

The North Point Light in Milwaukee
The North Point Light in Milwaukee



Directions and Information




2016 Fees: $8 adults, $5 adults 65+,  $5 children 5-11, Free under 4
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 1pm - 4pm; EXTENDED SUMMER HOURS: Thursdays  10am-2pm through Labor Day.


Address for your GPS: 2650 N Wahl Ave Milwaukee, WI 53211
| coordinates: 43.065691, -87.871779 |

From Milwaukeen/a
From Madison1.5 Hours
From Green Bay1.5 Hours
From Wausau3 Hours
From Minneapolis5 Hours
From Chicago1.5 Hours



Photos


The North Point Light in Milwaukee
The North Point Light in Milwaukee


The North Point Light in Milwaukee
The North Point Light in Milwaukee

The North Point Light in Milwaukee
The North Point Light in Milwaukee

The North Point Light in Milwaukee
The North Point Light in Milwaukee

The North Point Light in Milwaukee
The North Point Light in Milwaukee


The North Point Light in Milwaukee
The North Point Light in Milwaukee

The North Point Light in Milwaukee
The North Point Light in Milwaukee


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