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Wisconsin Lighthouses – Guardians of the Great Lakes and Beyond


2006 – Present

Lighthousefriends.com

Lighthousefriends.com

Since 2006, we have been visiting communities along the Lake Michigan coast of Wisconsin in a quest to see all the light houses. It took 9 years to see them all between Kenosha and Algoma, the southernmost community in Door County.

We both share a maritime heritage, as my husband is a Navy veteran, as well as his father Alvin T. Kutil and father’s brother Robert. They grew up in Manitowoc, where many ships were built that served in WW II. One of my great-grandfather’s was also a Navy vet about 100 years ago.

We will begin with Kenosha and work our way north.

Kenosha 12-1-12

There are two light stations here. The red Kenosha North Pierhead Light and the Old Southport Lighthouse.

Kenosha North LightSouthport lighthouse in Kenosha

Kenosha Southport Lighthouse Marker

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Racine  4-19-15 

Racine has 5 light stations protecting its harbors, including one at its Coast Guard station.

Racine Harbor Light Station

These 4 are scattered along the coast, you can hear the Racine Reef light station, it’s horn emits a mournful sound every 15 seconds that you can hear all over Racine.

Racine Lighthouses

IMG_7401

Hear the Racine Reef Light station.

Racine Reef Lighthouse Info

Windpoint is the northernmost of the Racine light stations, it has a museum open in the summer months. Please put a donation in the box when you visit!

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Milwaukee 12-15-12

Breakwater Lighthouse

Milwaukee Sentinel in the Mist 12-15-12

Pierhead Light

12-15-12 A Milwaukee Light House

Northpoint Light Station

12-15-12 Milwaukee Northport Lighthouse

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Port Washington  4-5-14

Breakwater Light

4-5-14 Port Washington -Breakwall Light House

Old Port Washington Light Station

Old Port Washington Light Station 4-5-14

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Sheboygan 8-20-06

Breakwater Light House, this was our first one. Also the only one in Sheboygan.

Sheboygan 8-20-06

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Manitowoc – Many visits there.

North Breakwater Lighthouse

Manitowoc North Breakwater Lighthouse 8-29-12

Manitowoc and Two Rivers often treat themselves like a twin city, so I will add Two River’s two lighthouses here.

North Pierhead 6-30-12

Located at Roger’s Street Fishing Village.

6-30-12 Two Rivers Rogers Street

Here it is as seen from across.

Rogers Street Fishing Village in Two Rivers

Rawley Point Lighthouse 6-30-12

5 miles north of downtown Two Rivers.

Two Rivers Rawley Point 6-30-12

Rawley Point Lighthouse marker

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Kewaunee  9-3-15

Pierhead Lighthouse

9-3-15 Kewaunee Light House WM Al

Photo by Al Kutil

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The northernmost one we have seen along Lake Michigan’s shore is in Algoma, considered to be the gateway of Door County. The little red lighthouse is the town’s trademark.

Algoma LakeshoreAlgoma banner 8-29 1324

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Lake Winnebago is large enough to have four light stations. To date we have seen one of them. We were able to climb to the top and had a great view of the Marina below.

Fon du Lac Lighthouse  8-29-12

8-29-12 Fon du Lac

Fon du Lac Lighthouse plaqueFon du Lac Lighthouse view of Marina 8-29-12

This is our lighthouse list to date, we hope to see more soon! Learn more about Wisconsin lighthouses in the links below.

Hot Website Links

Door County

Lighthouse Friends 

Apostle Island Lighthouses

Wisconsin Lighthouses and Lighthouse Tours

Lighthouse Tour – Door County Trolley, Inc.

Door County Lighthouse Tours

Book – Wisconsin Lighthouses: A Photographic and Historical and Historical Guide

Wingspread Tour – Former Home of S.C. Johnson-Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright


Wingspread House in Racine

5-16-15

Over the last several years we have taken an interest in Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and have actively sought out locations of the many buildings scattered throughout Wisconsin. We have found his work in many of the Wisconsin cities we have visited, including Madison where we live and it’s suburbs. Wingspread is the former home of S.C. Johnson and it was completed in 1939.  It’s now open for free tours. Book yours in advance, no walk-in’s permitted. Planning well in advance of your visit is important as these tours fill up fast! We scheduled ours about 5 weeks before our visit.

Wingspread Tour – Call 262-681-3353. or choose your time here online.

Our tour began at 3:30, first an introduction by our guide Tracy. We then watched a 20-minute movie about Wingspread, many funny stories and anecdotes by the grown children who lived there.  Here is a map of the grounds you can look at just outside of the entry gate. And we were given a copy of the house floor plan.   This is a self-guided tour, and photography both inside and out is permitted.

Wingspread Map of GroundsWingspread Plans

Here is an overview of Wingspread, given by our guide Tracy.

We really enjoyed the tour and recommend it to any fans of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Racine – Wisconsin Harbor Town


April 18 and 19, 2015

 Also known as America’s Kringle Capital, Racine is one of the many beautiful Wisconsin Harbor Towns on the shore of Lake Michigan. We didn’t waste any time acquiring one of the delicious Danish pastry. We entered Racine on the west side and made our way to Bendtsen’s Bakery, providing Kringles to Racine for four generations, since 1934. We enjoyed the Turtle Kringle. They ship too!

Bendtsen's Bakery in Racine

Turtle Kringle from Bendtsen's Bakery

Racine also has a statue unique to the state, if not the country. On the grounds of Gateway Technical College is a statue of Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd. It depicts them before he became President. Mary Todd had been in Racine in June 1867 to see Racine College, which had been recommended for her son Tad.

Gateway College in Racine

Lincoln Statue in Racine

Lincoln Statue Inscriptions

Lincoln and Mary Todd Statue inscription 2

Racine Light Stations

A very important service protecting ships and boats on Lake Michigan for over 100 years. The one below is managed by the Coast Guard.

Racine Harbor Light Station

Racine Lighthouses

 The Racine Reef Lighthouse is also equipped with a warning horn, protecting boaters from a limestone reef in the area. Here is what is sounds like.

Finding this Light (directions provided by terrypepper.com)
From I-94, take Hwy 20 east. Hwy 20 eventually becomes Washington Ave. Follow Washington Ave. to Hwy 32, and head north on Hwy 32. Turn right on Christopher Columbus Causeway, and follow around the marina until the road ends in a parking area. Walk the short distance to the lighthouse at the marina entrance.”

There is also an info board telling more about the light station.

Racine Reef Lighthouse Info

Wind Point has a marker and a museum open during the summer.

IMG_7401

Historic Downtown Racine

Racine’s history has been well-preserved for all to enjoy. The Racine Heritage Museum is a great place to learn more.

Racine County Historical Museum

 In Monument Square you will find many markers telling of Racine’s early history. Also a Civil War monument in the center.

Monument Square

Racine marker in Monument Square in RacineJerome Case Marker in RacineJoshua Glover marker in RacineEagle Mascot marker in Racine

The Racine Art Museum

Racine Art Museum

 Post Office

Racine Post Office

 It’s noon!  St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is ringing it’s bells. The whole downtown was chiming in fact.

Restaurants

We ate a meal at three restaurants and got a snack  at another place during our visit. Lunch on Saturday was at Kewpie Lunch, open since the 1920’s.  Yes, the theme is Kewpie Dolls.  They have great food too!

Kewpie Hamburgers collageKewpie hours

 Got a snack at the Sugar Shack Sweet Shoppe in Monument Square.

Sugar Shack Sweet Shoppe in Racine

We had dinner at Apple Holler, with a country theme. Lots of fun with many activities for kids and adults alike. Wonderful food there too.

Apple Holler in Racine

 On Sunday morning, we enjoyed brunch at Reefpoint Brew House, quite a nice menu there and a view of the Marina from the large windows.

Reefpoint Brew House in Racine

 Frank Lloyd Wright in Racine

He had a large presence in Racine, including company buildings.  There is one house designed by him, the Hardy House. It’s located in the Southside Historic District.

Southside Historic District and Parks in Racine

Hardy House FLW in Racine

Also Wingspread, which we took a free tour of!  You have to book this tour in advance. S.C. Johnson and his family lived here originally.  Due to high demand, we scheduled our tour about a month before our trip.  You can also book a tour of SC Johnson Research Tower as well, they are just five miles apart. The tower looks beautiful at night! Book your tour(s) here.

Wingspread House in Racine

SC Johnson Research Tower in Racine

 Also on the site is the beautiful Golden Rondelle Theatre and Fortaleza Hall, where a Sikorsky S-38 amphibious aircraft is displayed.

Rondelle Theatre and Fortaleza Hall in Racine

 Parks

Quarry Lake Park

We had been to Racine before, but it was all the way back in 1998, before we were married. We were very active scuba divers back then and we took a dive in the quarry here. We got a sketch of what you can find underwater in the quarry, facing north.

Racine Quarry facing North with symbol

Racine Quarry diagram

Pritchard Park

At this park is a Vets memorial and a historical marker as well.

Vets Memorial in Racine

The Spark marker in Racine

Washington Park

Across from Mound Cemetery (where we also visited), George Washington and other soldiers are honored. A cannon is also at the park.

Cannon in Washington Park in Racine

At Mound Cemetery, we saw a marker commemorating  Revolutionary War soldiers buried there.

Revolutionary War Solder marker at Mound Cemetery in Racine

Racine Harbor Park

Over by the lake and Marina, this park has a walking path along the lake, plus an elevated platform where you can see both the Breakwater light station, the other one across from it, and the Racine Reef  lighthouse as well. You can eat at the Reefpoint Brew House too out by the Marina.

Viewing Platform at Racine Harbor Park

Other Markers

Near the Racine Zoo is another marker (2131 N. Main), describing the cream-colored brick that many of the buildings are built from.

Cream Brick marker in Racine

At Windpoint we visited a Bohemian Schoolhouse, a large part of Al’s heritage.

Bohemian Schoolhouse in WindpointBohemian Schoolhouse marker in Windpoint

There is so much to see and do in Racine, well worth a visit.  One day is not enough, so we spent the night at Knight’s Inn. It was economical to stay there and quiet.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Racine!