The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor, WI began the “Restore The Range Light” campaign in the spring of 2016. Since then, over $305,000 has been raised to restore the iconic Upper Range Light to its early 1900’s appearance. With these funds secured, the “Restore the Range Light” campaign officially closed on September 30, 2019.
“The support from the community, volunteers, and donors has been overwhelming”, said Ed Miller, Range Light Docent, former board member, and chair of the Restore The Range Light committee. “After completing the restoration of the Lower Range Light in 2013, we knew we had to turn our focus to the Upper,” continued Miller.
Over the past 2 years projects were completed as funds were raised. The restoration kicked off in 2017 with the replacement of the roof. Since then, other projects have been completed in preparation for the 2019 summer season. Plans have now been laid out for the remainder of the work to conclude by summer 2020. “Peil Construction has worked on this building from the beginning of the project and we are excited to have them help us finish it,” said Miller. Along with the Upper Range Light, the original privy and oil house were included in the campaign.
The fundraising efforts culminated in June of this year with a gift from the David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. Additional support came from Raibrook Foundation as well as hundreds of donations from those passionate about the Range Lights. “With over 8,000 people visiting the Range Lights in 2018, and that momentum carrying into 2019, it is critical that these structures are renovated and cared for. They tell a critical story of the maritime history of Baileys Harbor and Door County,” said Steve Leonard, Executive Director of The Ridges.
This past June, The Ridges celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the Baileys Harbor Range Lights when over 250 people celebrated the historic buildings. “I am truly amazed how hard people worked to get this project to where it is today,” continue Leonard.
The Baileys Harbor Range Lights are open for tours daily June – October. To learn more about these historic structures or how to volunteer, please visit the website at RidgesSanctuary.org or call 920.839.2802. The Ridges is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit in Baileys Harbor, WI. Established in 1937, it now protects over 1,600 acres and is open year-round.