Long Tail Point Lighthouses 1859 & 1848
In Wisconsin, United States
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Three lighthouses were built on a slender sand bar island called Long Tail Point about 3-1/2 miles north of the mouth of the Fox River in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Only the ruins of the first 1848 “Old Stone Tower” remain today.
This series of two caches is intended to bring you to this remote place to explore what is left of these lighthouses and to tell some of the long history of this isolated place. A boat or a hike across the frozen bay in winter is required to get to these caches.
The first lighthouse on Long Tail Point was built in 1847 and was lit in 1848, the same year of Wisconsin’s statehood. It was built with limestone gathered from the mainland shore at Bay Settlement to the east and brought across the bay on a 100-foot scow. No quarried stone was used to build the lighthouse except for the capstones just below the lantern. The tower was 25 feet wide at the base tapering to 12 feet 9 inches at the top with 5 foot thick walls at the base and 2 foot 6 inch thick walls at the top. It was 65 feet tall. Nine Argand lamps and 14” polished reflectors were the original light source in a birdcage style lantern room. The tower was later refitted with a 6th order Fresnel lens and a cast iron 8 sided polygonal lantern room.
A 1-1/2 story detached wood & stone Keeper’s House was also built. Remnants of the foundation of the Keeper’s House can still be found near the tower.
With the waters of Green Bay lapping at the base of the 1848 Lighthouse in the late 1850’s, the Lighthouse Board decided that the “Old Stone Tower” foundation would soon be undermined and they decided to discontinue the use of the tower. They moved the lens and lantern room to a newly constructed wooden lighthouse in 1859. It is ironic that the only lighthouse still standing today and not in some way consumed by the bay of Green Bay is this 1848 lighthouse.
The 1859 lighthouse was a two story wood dwelling with a square light tower on the roof. This particular lighthouse design was duplicated in either wood or stone at numerous locations on the Great Lakes such as Old Port Washington Lighthouse (existing), Pottawatomie (Rock Island) Lighthouse (existing), Green Island Lighthouse (ruins), Pilot Island Lighthouse (existing), Cheboygan Main Lighthouse (ruins), Grand Traverse Lighthouse (existing), Old Michigan City Lighthouse (existing), St. Joseph’s Lighthouse (demolished), Kalamazoo River Lighthouse (demolished), South Manitou Island Lighthouse (existing), and Sheboygan North Point Lighthouse (existing).
After the construction of a third Long Tail Point Lighthouse in 1899, the 1859 lighthouse continued to be used as the keeper’s residence until 1936. A number of years later, the second 1859 lighthouse was sold to a private party who attempted to haul the lighthouse across the frozen ice. The wheels of the trailer broke through the ice up to the axles. The building was dismantled, hauled to shore, and the lumber was used to build a silo on his Suamico farm. A few remnants of the foundation of this 1859 lighthouse can still be found.
There are two stages to this cache.
Stage 1 can be found at the coordinates above and is at the location of the 1859 Long Tail Point Lighthouse.
You are looking for a 5" X 3-1/2" X 2" lock & lock container with a logbook. There are no trading items in the cache container. Best access is from the north/east side beach.
Stage 2 is at the location of the 1848 Long Tail Point Lighthouse. To get the coordinates for stage 2 do the following:
Look for the 6 letter waypoint number on the cover of the stage 1 cache container (not the waypoint number above). This is not an active waypoint number but is just used to determine the coordinates for stage 2 of this multi-cache. Use the last three letters from this waypoint number to determine the coordinates of stage 2 as follows:
Stage 2 coordinates:
N 44 35.PQ5
W 87 5R.013
P= number code below for the 5th letter in the waypoint number
Q= number code below for the 4th letter in the waypoint number
R= number code below for the 6th letter in the waypoint number
|F |U |N |H |A|S |C |O |M |E |
|9 |8 |7 |6 |5 |4 |3 |2 |1 |0 |
(letter above equals number below)
The last 300 feet to stage 2 requires heavy bushwacking from the north/east side beach or from the south/west side wading and bushwacking through weeds with no beach.
You are looking for a 7" X 4-1/2" X 2" lock & lock container with a logbook. No trading items are in the cache container. You can take a photo of the lighthouse & keepers house from the cache container (one per cache team please).
Please do not climb the 1848 stone lighthouse tower.
You may log two finds after finding both stages.
Boaters beware of shallow water along the shorelines.
Please respect and preserve the animal and plant wildlife in this beautiful natural area. Practice “Cache in Trash Out” and help clean up trash left by others thus leaving this area more pristine than when you arrived.
Posting of photos with your logs is encouraged.
Bring a pencil or pen to sign the logs.
Check out the other cache in this series:
“Long Tail Point Lighthouse 1899” Waypoint GCXHNH (visit link)
The Geocache Notification Form has been submitted to and approved by John Huff of the Peshtigo, Wisconsin DNR. Geocaches placed on Wisconsin Department of Natural Resouce managed lands require permission by means of a notification form. Please print out a paper copy of the notification form, fill in all required information, then submit it to the land manager. The DNR Notification form and land manager information can be obtained at: (visit link)
-------Fgntr 1: ba tebhaq arkg gb snyyra gerr
-------Fgntr 2: Jnvfg Uvtu
- 1859 & 1848 Long Tail Point LighthousesView of the 1859 and 1848 Long Tail Point Lighthouses in the bay of Green Bay from a passing vessel. National Archives photo.
Last Updated: on 9/7/2015 12:47:54 PM Pacific Daylight Time (7:47 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum