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Can you See the Light?
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This multicache will take you to three locations around Baileys Harbor related to the harbor’s navigational aids. There is a distance of approximately one mile from beginning to end, and it makes a nice walk between locations. The final waypoint is a micro so remember to bring your own pen!
Baileys Harbor offered the only harbor of refuge north of Milwaukee prior to the 1850’s. The harbor became increasingly busy with vessels seeking refuge from Lake Michigan storms, as well as those entering the harbor to load lumber. To aid transiting vessels, a lighthouse was constructed on the northeast side of the harbor in 1853. From the first waypoint, you can make out the top of the birdcage-style lighthouse on the island. There are only three birdcage dome lighthouses in the United States - one is here in front of you, one is in Michigan, and one is in New York. This lighthouse was in use until 1870. (The lighthouse is located on private property, so viewing from afar or by boat is the only method.)
The coordinates for the first waypoint are:
Use the sign at the first waypoint to decipher the coordinates of the second waypoint.
NO _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ON DUTY.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
By 1867, the harbor was determined too difficult to navigate with numerous shoals at its entrance. When the lighthouse was discontinued, Baileys Harbor upgraded to a range light system. Range lights allow vessels coming into the harbor to line up two lights and sail a course that allows safe passage into and out of the harbor. These historic range lights were constructed in 1869 and began illuminating the way into Baileys Harbor at the opening of the 1870 navigation season.
In 1923, both range lights were converted to acetylene-fuelled lighting systems, and in 1930 both lights were electrified. In November 1969, the range lights were decommissioned when a Coast Guard crew removed the illuminating equipment and constructed a metal tower with a single directional light south of the lower range light. This unidirectional light allowed mariners seeking safe passage to navigate by placing the light in the middle of the alleyway clearing. The light and marker were only visible when entering Baileys Harbor from the correct angle. This alleyway is better seen by walking on the beach path and looking back up toward the range lights. In 2015 the modern metal skeletal tower was removed and the original range lights were put back into service after being inactive for 46 years.
Use information from the sign on the lower range light to decipher coordinates to the next waypoint. (Please be aware that the range lights are on Ridges Sanctuary property and a fee is required to enter the property, but viewing both range lights from this waypoint is permitted)
Year the Door County Historical Society installed the plaque on the lower range light, minus 233
= _ _ _ _ (A B C D)
C5° 0C 2AB’
0DB° 0B 030’
This cache was placed as a partnership with Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Door County Maritime Museum, and the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. We hope you enjoyed learning the history of Baileys Harbor’s Aids to Navigation. To learn more about Wisconsin’s maritime heritage please visit our other geocaches in Door County and throughout the state, or visit wisconsinshipwrecks.org!
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Last Updated: on 3/30/2018 4:16:20 PM Pacific Daylight Time (11:16 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum