1860 Lighthouse and Light Station Museum

In late 2000 the Port Washington Historical Society embarked on the restoration of the 1849 Light Station, including the iconic 1860 lighthouse that guided 19th and early 20th century Lake traffic.

1860 Lighthouse and Light Station Museum

1860 Lighthouse and Light Station Museum

The destroyed tower and lantern were replicated by craftsmen of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and donated to the Society, while volunteers assisted by paid contractors restored the facades and recreated the interior of the living quarters and outbuildings. Visitors tour the restored quarters that depict the life of a lightkeeper and his family in the 19th century and enjoy spectacular views of Lake Michigan and surrounding area from the light tower. The former watch shack/backup generator building has additional museum exhibits that feature maritime and local memorabilia and historic artifacts.

The property, maintained and managed by Port Washington Historical Society volunteers, is sustained through private funding. Tours of this historic site are conducted by volunteer guides.

Location: 311 Johnson Street

Hours of Operation:

First weekend in June through the end of October

Fridays and Sundays 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm; Saturdays 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Special tours by appointment.

Fees: $4.00 adults; $1.00 children

Tour Groups: $5.00 for adults; $2.00 children

Arrangements made through 262-284-7240, 262-268-9734 or 262-268-9150.

Barb and Ken Wardius, authors of the book LIGHTHOUSES IN WISCONSIN and noted lighthouse historians, have stated: The Old 1860 Port Washington Light Station is the best overall historical restoration of any lighthouse complex we have visited in Wisconsin.

The present Art Deco Pierhead Light was constructed in 1935 at the culmination of a three year federal harbor and breakwater project, replacing a wooden structure built in 1889.

For the history of the Light Station Keepers since 1849 Click Here.

1860 Lighthouse and Light Station Museum Docents


1860 Lighthouse and Light Station Port Exploreum Resource Center