Apostle Islands Historic Preservation Conservancy

Established in 2006, the AIHPC is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the many historic properties and cultural landscapes in the Apostle Islands region on northern Wisconsin.  Beginning with a core group of families who hold longstanding property interests in historically-significant buildings on Sand and Rocky Islands, in some cases dating from the late 1800′s, the Conservancy represents a wide range of interests throughout the Chequamegon Peninsula.


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Today in Chequamegon history: time to take stock.

On this date in 1910, U.S. Lighthouse Service official Oliver G. Brown visited the Devils Island light station to conduct a thorough inventory of the facility. Here are some of his findings:

"TOWER: White cylindrical steel tower surmounted by white cylindrical watch room of larger diameter. Materials: ½ inch steel plates, horizontally riveted. Height of tower from base to ventilator ball of lantern: 80 feet.
Height of focal plane of lantern above mean lake level: 100 feet.

"LANTERN: Black lantern, cast iron throughout except lower part inside is lined with steel plates. Cast-iron conical roof lined inside with sheet zinc. A conical tin lens protector is supported by radial bars attached to lower part of roof.

"ILLUMINATING APPARATUS: Order of apparatus: Third. Name of maker: Henry LePaute. Lens is made up of eight panels of bull's-eyes, four of which are 22 inches wide in between the wider panels, and four panels each 12 inches wide. Flashing alternately red and white; interval between flashes 10 seconds.

"REVOLVING APPARATUS: Clockwork drives a set of bevel gears. The horizontal gear wheel is fastened to a vertical shaft, which is equipped with a horizontal gear wheel which works into cogs in base of lens. Time of revolution: 80 seconds; intervals between flashes: 10 seconds. Whole apparatus revolves. A 5/16" wire rope is wound around drum in clock case and runs thence vertically down into a cast iron trunk inside tower. Length of drop tube, full length of tower.
Length of time revolving machinery will run after one winding: two hours, forty minutes.

"FOG SIGNAL: Ten inch steam whistle, built by R. J. and T. H. Miller, 1891."

Now you know!

Photo: Devils Island Lighthouse at about this time, before the exterior bracing was installed.


Collected and edited by Bob Mackreth for the Apostle Islands Historic Preservation Conservancy, a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the historic heritage of the Apostle Islands region of northern Wisconsin.
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