Pierhead Light

Milwaukee, Wisconsin | C.1872

Photo Credit: Justin R. Hernandez

The Milwaukee Pierhead Light is an active lighthouse located in the Milwaukee harbor and is a ‘sister’ of the Kenosha North Pier Light.

The aid to navigation was built in 1872 just west of the Milwaukee Breakwater Light, near the outflow of the Milwaukee River into the Harbor and Lake Michigan.

The light has a round steel tower with a round gallery and a ten-sided lantern. In 1926, the original 4th Order Fresnel lens was transferred to the Milwaukee Breakwater Light, and that lens is now displayed at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.

The Fifth Order Fresnel lens-installed directly after in 1926-was removed in 2005 and is said to also be on display also at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.

From 1872 until 1926, the light had its own dedicated keepers. Thereafter all of the lights in the harbor were serviced by the resident Lighthouse keepers who were stationed at the neighboring North Point Light Station until it was automated in 1939.

The light was freshly painted in 2007, restoring its original red color. In September 2012 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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