Kenosha is a Wisconsin Harbor Town, due to the fact that Lake Michigan – a Great Lake – sits to the east of the city. Two lighthouses shine bright at night to signify the harbor.
Can you climb a lighthouse in Kenosha?
Yes! You can climb the Southport Lighthouse seasonally.
The Southport Lighthouse, built in 1866, is the third government lighthouse built on Simmons Island, formerly Washington Island. The light station was the first navigational light a mariner would see upon entering Wisconsin from Chicago. It was operational until 1906.
After years of extensive remodeling and renovation, the lighthouse and the 1867 Light Station keeper’s house are now open to the public seasonally. Together, the two structures make up the Southport Light Station Museum, which is operated by the Kenosha County Historical Society (Kenosha History Center). During designated hours, a maritime museum inside the keeper’s house is open and the lighthouse tower is available to climb.
Did you know you can light the Southport Lighthouse for a special person, occasion, anniversary, birthday or memoriam? Contact the staff of the Kenosha History Center to do so!
Meanwhile, the North Pier Lighthouse was built in 1906. It is now privately owned, but still serves as the active, operational lighthouse for the Kenosha harbor. The lighthouse is the home of the Kenosha Lighthouse Studio, a community destination for artists and art enthusiasts. Residents and visitors are welcome to approach the lighthouse to take photos with the iconic red structure – one of Kenosha’s most recognized landmarks!