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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Baileys Harbor Range Lights

The Ridges Sanctuary is home to the Baileys Harbor Range Lights.  Built in 1869 the lights guided ships into the safety of the harbor for a century and are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lower Range Light

As always seems to happen with us, we happened to visit on the one weekend of the year that the range lights are staffed and open to the public.  It is the Maritime Museum's Lighthouse Festival here in Door County this weekend.  We even spotted the trolley taking folks around on tours of the lighthouses on the peninsula.  Of course you can view them from the outside any time on the hiking trails of the sanctuary, and Ridges Road passes right by the Lower Range Light as well.

Upper Range Light

The Upper Range Light was home to 8 lighthouse keepers and their families.  In 1930 the lamps were replaced by automated electric lights and keepers were no longer needed.

The room in the Lower Range Light building that houses the Fresnel lens is very small, and photography tricky, but I did the best I could!  I liked the straight view to the other range light.  From the water, a sailor vertically aligned the white light in the Upper with the Lower's red beacon to get safely into the treacherous entrance of Baileys Harbor.

As we exited the Upper, we found a surprise waiting for us in the grass.  Wayne went back and got the volunteer on duty and alerted her to the visitor who didn't pay admission to view the lights.

Awww!  Don't know where Momma was, not far I'd bet.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!


  1. Great pictures. I think I'd better mark this date down since being there the week-end of the festival sounds like it would be great. We saw a series of what I always called "short lighthouses" on Cape Cod. I didn't know there were others. Very neat to see. thanks. What a cute visitor lying in the grass. Pretty lucky day you had.

  2. I love visiting lighthouses. We have several on the Oregon coast. What a cute discovery Wayne made. Nice photo of the fawn.

  3. how fortunate you were to arrive when the lighthouse was open. . .and a really great shot of the Lower Range Light. . .I loved the view of both from the end of the boardwalk. . .great day for you guys!