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Rare "birdcage" lighthouse in Door County

The Fall Door County Lighthouse Festival is a great chance to see one of the last birdcage lighthouses in the United States. For a variety of reasons, namely the quality of construction, most lighthouses from before 1850 have collapsed or been torn down. In the early part of the next decade, American lighthouses switched from using Winslow Lewis lamps and the birdcage design to the more modern housing for a fresnel lens. In that transition period, some lighthouses were built in the older style. Only a handful exist in the US today according to enthusiast and filmmaker Jake Heffernan.

 


The Old Bailey Harbor Lighthouse last had a functioning lamp in 1869 but the structure is still there. It was replaced by the Range Lights on the property of the Ridges Sanctuary.

 

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