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Lighthouses Provide Link To Door County Maritime History

The natural landscape of Door County is something very unique to this area. Steep rocky cliffs cascade into rich blue waters. This landscape many years ago caused nightmares for many sailors.

Before the era of GPS and chartplotters, sailors on the Great Lakes relied on primitive navigation: a compass, a chart and lighthouses. With water on three sides an uneducated mariner could run aground very quickly.

With 11 lighthouses dotting the peninsula sailors could safely navigate Death's Door. Tucked up on a rocky outcrop west of Sturgeon Bay lies my personal favorite. The Sherwood Point Lighthouse greets mariners and sightseers to the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal. The oldest light station on the peninsula, the Pottawatomie Lighthouse, was erected in 1836 on Rock Island. There are many other great lighthouses to see across the entire peninsula, although some you may need a boat to access them.

There is a lighthouse festival in June that allows visitors even more access to many lighthouses across Door County. Check out the Door County Maritime Museum's website for more information.


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