GILLS ROCK, WI (August 25, 2016) – The Door County Maritime Museum will be highlighting some of its new and existing exhibits at its Gills Rock Maritime Museum on Sunday, Sept. 4, from noon until 4 p.m. This special event will feature maritime guests and experts that will help bring the exhibits to life.
The event will be used to help introduce the museum’s newly restored 1917 Kahlenberg engine as well as the refurbished Plum Island Fresnel lens. Trygvie Jensen, author of “Through Waves and Gales Come Fisherman Tales” and “Wooden Boats and Iron Men,” will also be on board the commercial fishing tug Hope answering questions about commercial fishing and its tugs.
Kurt Krueger restored the Kahlenberg and will explain the workings of this remarkable engine. “Hear what it took to restore this workhorse of commercial fishing and the story behind this particular engine,” said Adam Gronke, museum curator. “Every single nut and bolt was taken off, cleaned, repaired and restored to it’s original,” said Gronke.
The engine sat outside for more than 25 years. It is originally off the fishing tug King in Ellison Bay, and had been in storage in Sturgeon Bay following Krueger’s ambitious restoration project. It was moved to Gills Rock on July 13. It is now one of four Kahlenbergs in the Gills Rock Maritime Museum.
Kurt Fosburg is one of the few in the United States who is licensed to remove, clean and repair Fresnel lenses for the United Stated Coast Guard. He removed the Plum Island light as well as the Green Bay entry light that is currently on display at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay.
The Plum Island light was constructed in Paris, France, in 1889 and served until 2015 when it was replaced with a LED light. Originally invented by Augustine Fresnel in 1822, the lenses were used extensively along European and North American coasts. They ranged in size from first to sixth order (first being the largest). The Plum Island lens is a fourth order lens, a very common size for the Great Lakes.
A representative of the Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands (FOPPI) will also be at the Gills Rock Maritime Museum to discuss and answer questions related to its mission of preserving, restoring and maintaining the lighthouses and other historic structures on Plum and Pilot Island.
This special event is free to all Door County Maritime Museum and Friends of Plum and Pilot Island members. General admission to the event is $6 for adults and $3 for children.