The iconic Baileys Harbor Lower Range Light was moved to its newly constructed foundation on Tuesday. The relocation marks The Ridges Sanctuary's first step in implementing a total restoration of the structure. The new location, 15 feet north of the original foundation, was chosen to address a public safety issue presented by the light's proximity to Ridges Road. Schuette Movers of Wausau, experts in structural relocation, handled the specialized process.
A full restoration of the lighthouse will proceed according to the recommendations contained in the Historic Structures Report issued by Restoric, LLC, in 2010. Work will include replacement of the siding and roof, as well as venting and vapor barriers to protect against moisture and high humidity. Because the Lower Range Light is on National Register of Historic Places, the restoration will adhere to specific guidelines delineated by the Secretary of the Interior.
"We fully expect that the restoration will be complete in time for the Maritime Museum's Lighthouse Festival this June," says Ridges Director Steve Leonard. "The Ridges is dedicated to the preservation of the Upper and Lower Lights, and our long-range plans include opening both buildings to the public for historical interpretation in the future."
Although a modest structure, the Lower Range Light is both historically significant and an important visual and cultural asset to Door County. Range lights are counted among the most vulnerable type of rapidly-disappearing lighthouses, and both the Upper and Lower Range Lights have been identified as two of the only surviving examples of range lights in Wisconsin.