Forty-first Lighthouse Expedition
July 20-26, 2003
Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin
We toured Wisconsin in 1989 and saw most of the lighthouses. However, we have since discovered that there are four lighthouses on inland Lake Winnebago. It’s a large lake with several major cities: Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Neenah, Menasha and Appleton which are either on the shore of Lake Winnebago or connected to the lake by the Fox and Little Fox Rivers. The area was developed because of the lumbering industry in the middle 1800’s. We decided to visit Wisconsin again and add these four lights to our expedition list.
July 20, 2003, Sunday
Happy 7th Anniversary to our daughter and son-in-law, Andrea and Duffy.
- 8:40 am (EDST)
- Left home.
- 10:55 am (CDST)
- MI/IN State line on I-94.
- 12:00 pm
- IN/ILL state line.
- 12:55 pm
- Stopped at Wendy’s on the toll road for lunch, left at 1:30.
- 1:45 pm
- ILL/WI state line. Wow, we made it through Chicago without too many delays. However, we were surprised at all the traffic on a Sunday morning!
- 2:00 pm
- Made our first Dairy Queen stop!
- 2:40 pm
- Arrived at the first lighthouse of the trip ~ Wind Point Light in Racine, WI. We were here previously in 1989 on our 8th trip. This light was constructed in 1880. The Village of Racine owns and maintains the property and light. The buildings and the grounds are beautifully kept and it is right next to a golf course. A beautiful lakefront garden and brick walkway have been added since we were here before. We left at 3:10.
- 3:55 pm
- We checked into the Holiday Inn Express in Wauwatosa, WI.
- 5:30 pm
- We went to Bette & Hal Kelbe’s apartment, which wasn’t very far from the motel. Bette & Hal are Diana’s cousins. The four of us went to Denny’s for dinner and had fun catching up on all the family news! We were back to the motel by 8:30.
July 21, 2003, Monday
- 8:45 am
- We left the Holiday Inn Express in Wauwatosa and headed north to Fond du Lac on the south shore of Lake Winnebago. Diana’s great grandparents lived in Fond du Lac and her paternal grandmother, Lucina Mary Giffin, was born there in 1869.
- 9:40 am
- Arrived at the Fond du Lac Lighthouse in Lakeside Park. The park is beautiful! We were able to climb the lighthouse (72 steps). We took pictures from several vantage points to get different views of the light. We left at 10:00.
- 10:45 am
- We arrived at a park in Oshkosh on the corner of Hazel and Merrell. About 20 minutes later Lori & Bruce Yates from Tomah, WI arrived. We were delighted they could drive the 2 1/2 hours and spend the day with us. We met them on the San Francisco trip in 2001 and also traveled with them on the Lake Superior and Maine trips in 2002. After a few minutes chatting and discussing where to leave our car, we left the park about 11:20.
- 11:25 am
- Arrived at the Rockwell Lighthouse in Oshkosh. This light is located at a private residence on Lake Winnebago. It was built in 1909 by a private individual who couldn’t convince the government that a light was needed. It is the most ornate of all the Wisconsin lights. While it is on private property, it can be seen from the road. We left and the four of us decided we were hungry.
- 11:40 am
- We stopped for lunch at a delightful deli ~ Pilora’s. We had a wonderful lunch. We left at 12:35 and traveled further north.
- 12:45 pm
- Arrived at the Asylum Bay Lighthouse built in 1940. This light is located a few miles north of Oshkosh and is located on a small man-made island. We were delighted to find a new foot bridge to the island and were able to walk to it. The light is no longer operational. We left at 1:05 and again headed north.
- 1:25 pm
- We arrived at the Neenah Lighthouse on the northeast shore of Lake Winnebago. The light is located in Kimberly Park. It was constructed in 1945 and houses the restrooms for the park. The light helps the boaters going to and from Lake Winnebago from the Fox River. We left about 2:00 and drove back to Oshkosh.
- 2:30 pm
- The Yates dropped us off at our car at the park in Oshkosh. Lori and I were feeling the need to do some shopping, so we drove both cars and arrived at the Outlets Mall near Oshkosh about 3:00. Bruce and Don enjoyed chatting and we enjoyed spending their money. Bruce and Lori left about 4:10 to make the drive back to Tomah and get back to their little doggie, Oliver. We had a fun day and are looking forward to seeing them again in Oregon in September.
- 4:40 pm
- Left the mall.
- 5:10 pm
- We arrived at the Country Inn and Suites in Appleton and had dinner at a nearby Perkins restaurant. We went to the mall and did some walking and shopping and arrived back to the motel about 8:00. We saw the four lighthouses we came to Wisconsin to see. What are we going to do the next three days???
July 22, 2003, Tuesday
- 9:00 am
- Left the Country Inn and Suites in Appleton, WI.
- 9:20 am
- We arrived at the campus of Lawrence University. This lighthouse trip is also a nostalgia trip for Diana. Ralph and Lucina Irish, Diana’s paternal grandparents met at Lawrence College and graduated from there in 1893. Right after graduation they were married and traveled to China to be missionaries for four years. It was unusual for women to seek college degrees in that era but the college actually started out as a women’s college. We stopped in at the admissions office and picked up a map of the now University and were also given a beautiful brochure of its history. The one building that was in use at the time that Diana’s grandparents were there was the Main Hall. We walked there and took some pictures. We left the University area about 9:50. Our destination was Door County. Silly question to wonder what we would do the next few days when there were lighthouse within a short driving distance!
- 11:00 am
- Arrived at the Kewaunee Pierhead Light. (We were once again visiting lights we saw in 1989.) We took pictures from the end of Ellis St. and also from Lakehouse Vista Park. The park was new since our last visit there. Don walked out as far as he could and took some pictures. The sea gulls were in abundance! We left at 11:35.
- 11:40 am
- We were just a short distance from our next important stop, The Lighthouse Shop. This store almost rivals the Lighthouse Depot in Maine. It is located at 705 N. Main St. (Hwy. 42) just north of Kewaunee. Their web address is http://www.lighthousegiftshop.com. We looked around for a while and, of course, did some shopping. We left there at 12:10.
- 12:20 pm
- Arrived at the Algoma Pierhead Front Light. The light was constructed in 1908 and in 1932 it was put on a new base to increase it’s height to 42 feet. We took pictures from the park and the marina. We left at 12:30.
- 12:35 pm
- We had lunch at Deans Family Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor in Algoma and left there at 1:00.
- 2:30 pm
- Arrived at one of the most picturesque lights in Door County ~ Cana Island Light. The directions were a little confusing and the area not well marked. From Baileys Harbor take Hwy 57 north. Turn right on County Rd. Q. Travel about 3.5 miles to Cana Island Rd. Take the road to the end. Parking is limited and the neighbors would really like it if you would not park on their property! It was a little hike across the causeway and through the woods to the light, but worth it. There was an admission charge. There was also a gift shop and a museum in the keepers’ house. We were amazed at how much the bushes and shrubs had grown up in the area around the light. We left at 3:15. We traveled on to Ephraim, Sister Bay, Fish Creek and stopped in Egg Harbor to walk around and do some shopping. If you are ever in the area, be sure to experience a Fish Boil dinner. We so enjoyed the one we had in Ephraim in 1989. Unfortunately, we were not going to have time on this trip. We left at 5:35 and headed south.
- 6:25 pm
- We had dinner at the Sweet Seasons Diner in Dyckesville and left at 7:15.
- 7:50 pm
- Arrived at the Country Inn and Suites in Green Bay.
July 23, 2003, Wednesday
- 9:30 am
- Left the Country Inn and Suites in Green Bay. We decided to return to Fond du Lac via the east side of Lake Winnebago. While the west side is well developed with the cities I mentioned earlier, the east side of the lake is quite different. There are homes along the lakeshore but no large communities or cities.
- 11:15 am
- We went back to Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac. Because we were meeting the Yates on Monday, our time in Fond du Lac was short. We wanted to return to the park and enjoy some relaxation time, spend more time at the lighthouse and have a picnic lunch. We picked up some Subway sandwiches and found a spot in the park where we could enjoy the lake view and the creek. It was a little windier that we would have liked, but still very enjoyable. We walked around the park a little and took some pictures. Diana realized that she had not brought the address of her great grandfather’s home (which we wanted to find) and called her sister in Indiana for the address. Fortunately Cynthia was home and could locate it quickly. We found the home and took some pictures. It has been "modernized" with siding and is now a duplex. We left Fond du Lac at 2:30 and headed east on Hwy. 23.
- 3:20 pm
- We arrived at the Sheboygan Breakwater Light. We walked around the Riverfront area and had dinner at the City Streets Riverside. The city is doing some redevelopment on the waterfront which will include a convention center, condos and a dock which will accommodate the larger cruise ships on the Great Lakes. We left Sheboygan at 6:00.
- 6:30 pm
- Arrived at the Country Inn and Suites in Port Washington. We checked in and left for a drive heading south.
- 7:25 pm
- We found the Kevich Light in Grafton. This light and dwelling is privately owned and was built in 1981. You can visit their web site at http://www.execpc.com/~portulao/. We left there at 7:35. We drove back north and found the Old Port Washington Light station built in 1860. This light has been beautifully restored by the Port Washington Historical Society. They are open for tours on Saturdays from 11 to 4 and Sundays from 12 to 4. Both of these lights were "new" to us as we had missed them on our previous Wisconsin tour.
- 8:05 pm
- It isn’t vacation without a stop at the Dairy Queen!!!
- 8:25 pm
- We took pictures of the Port Washington Breakwater Light and returned to the motel.
July 24, 2003, Thursday
- 8:50 am
- Left the Country Inn and Suites in Port Washington.
- 8:55 am
- We returned to the Old Port Washington Light station to get more pictures with the sun shining on the light from the east. We left at 9:00 and headed south.
- 10:25 am
- WI/IL state line.
- 11:45 am
- IL/IN state line 12:50 pm Had lunch at McDonald’s and another DQ (I did mention this was vacation!) We left at 1:35.
- 1:50 pm (EST)
- We got off the toll road at exit 72. The guard under the front end of the car was dangling and making a racket! Don was able to remove it and we left 20 minutes later.
- 2:45 pm
- Stopped at the Chevy dealer in Goshen, IN for some bolts to reattach the guard. (They turned out to be the wrong things, but Don did get it reattached before we left Goshen.)
- 3:10 pm
- We arrived at Diana’s sister Cynthia’s home in Goshen.
July 25, 2003, Friday
- We visited with Cynthia’s husband in the nursing home, spent some time at the home of Diana’s niece and family and then had a delightful evening at Amish Acres for dinner and saw the play "Grease."
July 26, 2003, Saturday
- 11:00 am
- We visited with Dick again in the nursing home to say our goodbyes and left Goshen at 11:30 am.
- 1:30 pm (EDST)
- IN/MI state line on I-69.
- 1:45 pm
- Had lunch at McDonald’s in Coldwater, MI.
- 4:10 pm
- Arrived home.
Trip Totals: 12 Lighthouses ( 6 new), 7 days, 1446 miles.
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Lighthouses: A Photographic Journey
Conceived and Developed by David S. Carter
Photographs by Donald W. Carter
Text by Diana K. Carter, Donald W. Carter & David S. Carter
Copyright © 1995-2003 David S. Carter, Donald W. Carter, & Diana K. Carter. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means, physical or electronic, in part or in full, without the express permission of the authors, is strictly prohibited.