Ridges Range Light Closer to Preservation

(Left to right) Marge Binder, Lee Traven, and Sarah Wright pictured by the Lower Range Light. Traven is the son of Ridge’s founder, Olivia Traven.

Thanks to two generous members Marge Binder and Sarah Wright, The Ridges Sanctuary now has the funds needed to undertake a sorely needed full restoration of the Baileys Harbor Lower Range Light.

Care of the historic icon, along with the Upper Range Light, was transferred to The Ridges in 1965. Over the years, the organization has replaced rotting wood and repainted the structure a number of times. However, ongoing problems with humidity have left the range lights in need of major repairs.

“We are currently in the final stages of obtaining the permits necessary for the project and are also pursuing Wisconsin Historical Society approval of the restoration plan,” said Steve Leonard, the Sanctuary’s Executive Director.

Since both range lights are on the National Register of Historic Places, the restoration will also adhere to specific guidelines delineated by the Secretary of the Interior.

With the future of the Lower Range Light secured, Leonard says that The Ridges will turn its attention to the eventual restoration of the Upper Range Light. Any monies in excess of the amount needed to complete work on the Lower Range Light will be allocated to that future project.

The Lower Range Light, although a modest structure, is historically significant. Range lights are counted among the most vulnerable type of rapidly disappearing lighthouses, and both the Upper and Lower Range Lights have been identified as two of the only surviving examples of range lights in Wisconsin.

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