No visit to The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor, WI would be complete without experiencing the iconic Baileys Harbor Range Lights. Built in 1869 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, the Upper Range Light and its companion Lower Range Light are the only lighthouses of this design on the Great Lakes that are still on range and functional as navigational aids. These modest but enduring structures played a critical role in the history of Baileys Harbor and in the founding of The Ridges Sanctuary.
“These buildings have seen a lot over the last 150 years” said Ed Miller, volunteer Docent and passionate lighthouse enthusiast. “They housed 8 different lighthouse keepers, several Ridges staff and were even a Lutheran Parsonage for a few decades. They have a great story to tell.”
The Range Lights will be open daily for tours starting Monday June 3rd, 11:00am-2:00pm. “Its important to show the visitors of The Ridges these iconic structures and share their story” Miller continued. The Range Lights saw over 8,000 visitors in 2018.
The Range Lights are also undergoing a full renovation to restore their historical 1920’s appearance. “We’ve been steadily raising funds and then making the improvements as the funds have come in. And we’re hoping to wrap up those initiatives in 2019, to have it fully restored in 2020,” said Drew Richmond, The Ridges Sanctuary Development and Marketing Director. The campaign kicked off in 2016 and has about two-thirds of the funds raised thus far.
On Friday, June 7th, 2019, The Ridges will celebrate the 150th Anniversary of these historic structures. The event will be held from 3:00 – 6:00pm at the Range Lights (Parking at 8288 CTY HWY Q, Baileys Harbor), with a program beginning at 4:00pm. In addition to The Baileys Harbor Range Lights, the iconic Cana Island Lighthouse is also celebrating its 150th Anniversary this year. More information can be found by visiting www.dcmm.org. A community-wide celebration of the sesquicentennial of these iconic lighthouse structures will take place throughout 2019 in the town of Baileys Harbor, WI.
If you are interested in making a donation to the “Restore the Range Light” campaign to preserve the Baileys Harbor Range Lights, please contact Drew Richmond, Development and Marketing Director at drew@RidgesSanctuary.org or 920.839.2802 or visit RidgesSanctuary.org.
The Ridges Sanctuary, Inc is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit in Baileys Harbor. For more information on this and other programs visit RidgesSanctuary.org.