Chambers Island Lighthouse
Chambers Island, WI
Located on Chambers Island off the shore of Fish Creek, the Chambers Island Lighthouse is closed from the public but the grounds are still accessible to visitors.
The light can be seen during the annual Lighthouse Festival offered by the Door County Maritime Museum. The grounds are open for visitors during the summer and there is a public boat launch at the East Dock.
Chambers Island Lighthouse History
1866: Congress appropriates funds to build the lighthouse.
1867: U.S. government purchases a 40 acre peninsula on the northwest side of the island for the light.
1868: Materials are brought to the island and the light is built. This year Eagle Bluff Lighthouse is also built. Lewis S. Williams is appointed the first keeper.
1889: Peter Knudsen is appointed as the new keeper.
1891: Charles E. Young is appointed as the new keeper. A well is driven and topped with a windmill so that water could be pumped into a tank where it could be used for domestic purposes.
1895: Soren Christianson is appointed as the new keeper.
1897: A new well is made.
1898: A brick oil house and summer kitchen is built. The windmill and water tank are taken down.
1900: Joseph Napeizinski is appointed as the new keeper.
1906: Jens J. Rollefson is appointed as the new keeper.
1925: Claude F. Chapman is appointed as the new keeper.
1933: Alfred L. Cornell is appointed as the new keeper.
1941: Theodore B. Jacobsen is appointed as the new keeper.
1947: A marker radio beacon is established on the island.
1961: The Coast Guard automates the light to save money and erected a steel tower.
1976: The Coast Guard transferred the station to the Town of Gibraltar. Mary Ann and Joel Blahnik now serve as caretakers.
Chambers Island Interesting Facts
- Keeper Williams cultivated an impressive strawberry patch.
- During the winter, one of Keeper Williams eleven children (a son), with a friend, took a horse and sleigh out to visit Eagle Harbor. They came across a crack in the ice but were unaware that it had been much larger recently and walked out onto thin ice. The horse broke through the ice and the two men managed to avoid falling in and had to walk the rest of the way to Eagle Harbor.