Posted/Updated by Bryan Penberthy on 2007-12-02.
A noted local lumberman, W.J. Nuss, approached the Park Board in 1932 about constructing a lighthouse to replace a plain red light, which marked the entrance to the park. The architect, R.A. Sutherland would donate the plans and drawings, while W.J. Nuss would donate the lumber, and the other necessary materials were donated by several others. There would be no cost to the local government. The Park Board accepted the offer.
Construction started in May of 1933. All labor was completed by the town's citizens who were glad to get work during The Great Depression. The tower was completed 5 months later and opened to the public.
The lighthouse is of Cape Cod design featuring eight sides, rising 40 feet high. The first ten feet are covered with flagstone while the remaining thirty feet covered in siding. The interior features a wooden stair case attached to the exterior walls leading to the top.
By the 1960s, the tower had become neglected and graffiti covered. There was talk that the tower swayed with the wind. In 1966 a drive was started to restore the tower with the city putting up most of the $8000 worth of repairs that were needed. The tower was rededicated and opened again on July 3, 1968.
When we visited in 2007, the tower looked like it was in great shape. A quick climb to the top provided a wonderful view of Lake Winnebago.
- Wisconsin Lighthouses: A Photographic & Historical Guide, Ken & Barb Wardius, 2003.
Directions: The lighthouse is located in Lakeside Park. From Winnebago Drive, take North Park Ave north into the park. Once in the park, make a right onto Lighthouse Drive.
Access: Grounds open. Tower open in season.
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