Sturgeon Bay Canal North Pierhead Light
Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal
Sturgeon Bay, WI
Located at the northern side of the entrance to the Sturgeon Bay Canal, the Sturgeon Bay Canal North Pierhead Light is now privately owned. The dwellings and tower are closed to the public but the lower level breakwall is still open.
Sturgeon Bay Canal North Pierhead Light History
1881: The lighthouse is constructed after Congress appoints money for the project that was originally proposed by the Lighthouse Board in 1873.
1882: Rufus J. Wright is appointed as the first keeper. Wright originally lived on the canal company dredge, which would move about in the canal and harbor.
1884: A fog signal was built on the pier that consisted of two buildings.
1886: Charles O. Chapman is appointed as the new keeper. The Lighthouse Board constructs a keeper’s dwelling.
1892: The first fog signal caught fire and a little under two weeks later so did the second one. The first fire caused minimal damage while the second fire badly burned the cross timbers under the signal.
1900: A dwelling is built for the assistant keepers to use.
1902: The light and fog signals were in poor shape and in need of repair. The Lighthouse Board recommended building a new combined light and fog signal.
1903: The construction for the new structure started. The light from the old light is transferred to the new tower after construction is completed.
1904: The keeper’s dwelling is doubled in size.
1905: The wooden walkway to the light is replaced by a metal one.
1910: Charles Bavry is appointed as the new keeper.
1920: Nels Engberg is appointed as the new keeper.
1926: Charles Bavry is appointed as the new keeper.
1927: Conrad A. Stram is appointed as the new keeper.
1930: The light is electrified and the fog signal is changed to an air diaphone. A radio beacon is later installed.
1933: Claude Chapman is appointed as the new keeper. He is later replaced by John T. Trucker.
1942: John J. Hahn is appointed as the new keeper.
1947: Hahn leaves his position as keeper.
1972: The light is automated.
2010: A Notice of Availability is announced for the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead Lighthouse. It said that the lighthouse is in “excess to the needs of the United States Coast Guard”. The light would be available at no expense to qualified organizations. They were unable to find a qualified organization.
2014: An online auction for the lighthouse opened and the lighthouse is won by Gordon Krist of Kentucky for $48,500.
Sturgeon Bay Canal North Pierhead Light Interesting Facts
- Keeper Wright is unable to enjoy the new keeper’s dwelling as he was relieved of duty a few days before the residence is completed in 1886.
- Keeper Chapman is diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1909 and dies the following spring.