Two Rivers Pier Light Seeing The Light

Two Rivers, Wisconsin Home Back

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Historical Information

Named Two Rivers after the East and West Twin Rivers that come together and flow into Lake Michigan, the town that grew at this point became widely known as the fishing capital of Lake Michigan.

Click to view enlarged imageWith the construction of twin piers to protect the fishing and boat building industries within the harbor in the early 1800's, the Lighthouse Board constructed a small thirty-six foot tall skeletal wooden light on the end of the North pier to help provide vessels with a visual fix on the harbor.

The lights decagonal cast iron lantern room was equipped with a fixed red 240 degree Sixth Order Fresnel lens, and was supported with a diaphone fog signal, with the typical "Bee-Oh" sound signature common to most  fog signals of the type.

As was the case with most pierhead lights of this type, an iron catwalk above the pier gave the keepers some degree of respite from the waves that crashed over the pier on stormy days.

With no keeper assigned to the light, its tending was an added responsibility of the keepers at Rawley Point Light Station, some five miles to the north.

The light was rebuilt in 1928 as a result of significant deterioration. As was the case with most Great Lakes Lights, with the universal adoption of radar and LORAN, the Coast Guard determined that the light no longer performed a necessary function, and was extinguished in 1969. The Coast Guard donated the entire structure to the Two Rivers Historical Society, who relocated it to the Rogers Street Fishing Village Museum, a group of historical buildings maintained as a memorial to the city's proud fishing heritage. Reconstructed with a wide wooden walkway, the tower is open for visitors from 10.00an to 4.00pm May through October, and by appointment during other months.

Keepers of this Light

Click Here to see a complete listing of all Two Rivers Light keepers compiled by Phyllis L. Tag of Great Lakes Lighthouse Research.

Seeing this Light

We arrived at the Jackson Street fishing village at around 7.00am, just as a major thunderstorm began to roll through. Deciding to wait it out, we drove back onto the main street, grabbed a couple of cups of coffee, and headed back to the lake, where we parked and watched the storm brewing around us.

After about an hour and a half, things began to clear up, and we headed back to the fishing village. Unfortunately at this early time the museum was closed, and thus we were unable to get into the old tower to take photographs as we had planned, and had to make do with the photographs above.

Finding this Light

Hwy 42 jogs onto 22nd street in downtown Two Rivers. Turn South onto Jackson Street, just east of the point at which 22nd Street crosses the East Twin River. Immediately on turning onto Jackson Street you will see the Rogers Street Fishing Village, and the parking area directly across the street.

The Two Rivers Historical Society can be contacted at (920) 793-5905. 

Reference Sources

Western Great Lakes Lighthouses, Laurie, Bill T., Ruth and Bill J. Penrose,1995 

Wisconsin Handbook
, Thomas Huhti, 1997
Wisconsin Lighthouses, A photographic & Historical Guide
, Ken & Barb Wardius, 2000
Photographs from author's personal collection.
Personal observation at Two Rivers, 09/10/2000
Keeper listings for this light appear courtesy of Great Lakes Lighthouse Research

Click to view Two Rivers weather conditions

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This page last modified 12/07/2003