Light Station Maintenance Under Way At Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Means Temporary Closures

Sand Island Light at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is in line for a new roof this summer. NPS photo.

It takes a lot of maintain lighthouses, particularly old ones. So, not surprisingly, work on some of the historic light stations at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin mean there will be some temporary closures this year.

The light stations are of course still visible from the water, and viewing from offshore is a good, safe way to see the work in progress. Raspberry Island Light is open as usual.

Here are the anticipated dates for construction, which will result in partial or full closures to the light stations and in some cases the adjacent docks. These dates are subject to change.

* Michigan Light and Dock: June 4 through November 14, 2013

* Devils Light (East and West landings may be closed as required): June 4 through December 5, 2013

* Sand Light (landing may be closed as required): July 12 through September 5, 2013

* La Pointe (Long Island) Light (dock may be closed as required): July 15 through October 8, 2013

* Outer Island Light (dock may be closed as required): August 6 through November 1, 2013

Outer Island light will see reroofing, repointing and repainting of its masonry tower; repainting and repair of the lantern; repair to windows, interiors, and repainting of exterior trim on the lighthouse, removal of hazardous materials, and improvements to ventilation. The fog signal building will receive needed foundation and roof repairs and removal of hazardous materials.

Devils Island light tower will undergo major repair to its concrete footings, while the keeper's and assistant keeper's quarters will see repair to windows, porches, interiors, and repointing the brick, while also improving ventilation. The fog signal building will receive repairs to its exterior and foundation, as well as repainting. Park sawyers are clearing encroaching trees and brush from three acres of grounds.

At Long Island, the La Pointe light tower will also undergo major repairs to its concrete footings and minor repairs to the metal structure. The keeper's quarters is also seeing efforts to combat moisture and mold, and improve ventilation. Thinning of trees on the grounds and around structures is also taking place.

Sand Island light is receiving an urgently needed new metal roof and gutter repairs. Plans to repair and refinish floors, repair plaster and repaint the interior, improve ventilation, and partially restore the original station grounds are awaiting future funds.

Michigan Island light is most impacted by closures as dock space is limited, and work on the station and grounds is very extensive. As weather might delay some of the work, it is possible that some closures will continue into the 2014 season.