Manitowoc Breakwater Light
By Dave Wobser

Located at the mouth of the Manitowoc River on Lake Michigan in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Built 1918 to replace earlier lights built in 1840 and 1895. The steel frame, white fog signal building, with steel tower on top, rests on a 22-foot by 48-foot concrete crib. The first floor is 19-feet by 34-feet and serves as the compressor room. The second floor watch room is 17-feet square and supports a round light tower 12-feet in diameter and 10-sided lantern.

Previous Towers dated back to 1840 and 1850. In 1840 a brick structure at mouth of Manitowoc River was in operation and in 1850 a wooden pyramidal tower was located at the outer end of pier. The 1840 tower was demolished and replaced in 1895. The 1850 Pierhead Light was destroyed during a storm in 1937 and replaced with a skeletal tower.

Overall the current structure is 40-feet high and creates a focal plane 51-feet above mean low water level of Lake Michigan. The present lens is a Fifth Order Fresnel made by Sautter, Lemonnier & Co. of Paris. The current lens replaced an original 1918 Fourth Order Fresnel.

Located on the north breakwater, along Maritime Drive in downtown Manitowoc, behind the Manitowoc Maritime Museum. Can also be viewed from the south breakwater, near the Lake Michigan Car Ferry SS Badger ferry dock.

The light is an active aid to navigation and not open to the public.

Click on image to enlarge

Photograph by Max Hanley

Location: Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Date Built: 1918
Active: Yes

Open to

No, pier is open.
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