Hard to believe, but it's been 150 years since Raspberry Light first cast its glow on the waters of Lake Superior. For 150 years, the light has guided boats into and out of the West Channel through the Apostle Islands.
The original fifth-order Fresnel lens provided the light until the mid-1950s, when it was removed from the tower and placed in what is now the State Historical Society Museum on Madeline Island. Since that time, the United States Coast Guard has maintained an automated light on the island.
In 2006 and 2007, the National Park Service at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore remodeled the Raspberry Island Lighthouse and refurnished the lighthouse keeper’s living quarters as it may have appeared in the early 1920s. Park rangers lead tours through the lighthouse daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from mid-June to mid-September. The tours cost $3 per person.
In celebration of the 150th birthday of the Raspberry Island Light, Apostle Islands Cruises will conduct a cruise from Bayfield to Raspberry Island on Saturday, July 20. The cruise costs $41.95 for adults, $24.95 for children (6-12). The boat will depart from the Bayfield city dock at 1:30 p.m. and return at 5:30 p.m.
Visitors will meet the lighthouse keeper and his assistant and visit this historic site. After touring the lighthouse, visitors will have a chance to play croquet on the lighthouse lawn, just like the keepers and their families did 150 years ago.
Reservations for this cruise can be made by calling Apostle Islands Cruises at (715) 779-3925. For additional information, call the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore at (715) 779-3397