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Birdcage Lighthouse

Physical Address

Baileys Harbor, WI 54202

About Birdcage Lighthouse

Located on an island near Baileys Harbor, the Birdcage Lighthouse wasn’t open for very long. Its brief history, however, is what lead to the creation of the Cana Island Lighthouse as well as the Range Lights.

The light is closed off to the public, but the iconic birdcage style lantern can be seen from the water. Places like Door County Adventure Rafting will take riders to see the lighthouse during their “Lakeside Tour.”

Birdcage Lighthouse History

1852: Construction starts on the lighthouse.

1853: David Ward is appointed as the first keeper.

1854: Michael Green is appointed as the new keeper.

1855: Green passes away and is replaced by Newton Bacon.

1858: Lighthouse is upgraded from a fixed sixth-order Fresnel lens to a fifth-order lens.

1862: William Mitchell is appointed as the new keeper.

1863: Mitchell is transferred to a new lighthouse and is replaced by William Darling.

1866: An inspector declares that the lighthouse is in poor condition and needs to be rebuilt.

1867: The lighthouse is appropriated at three times its original cost for rebuilding. However, the Lighthouse Board realizes that the location isn’t favorable, making it an ineffective place for a lighthouse. A new lighthouse on Cana Island is proposed.

1869: Keeper Darling extinguishes the light in the Birdcage Lighthouse for the last time.

Birdcage Lighthouse Interesting Facts

  • The most interesting aspect of the tower is its birdcage lantern, which is one of four lighthouse in the United States that is still equipped with that style of lantern.
  • The light is now privately owned.
  • Keeper Darling served in the Mexican-American War and Civil War. Darling had his foot amputated because of an injury he received in the Battle of Antietam. He was honorably discharged.

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