Gull Island Light (Wisconsin)

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Gull Island Light
Gull Island Light (Wisconsin) is located in Wisconsin
Gull Island Light (Wisconsin)
Location Gull Island, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
Coordinates 46°54′24″N 90°26′38″W / 46.90667°N 90.44389°W / 46.90667; -90.44389Coordinates: 46°54′24″N 90°26′38″W / 46.90667°N 90.44389°W / 46.90667; -90.44389[1]
Year first lit 1928
Automated 1928
Construction Iron skeletal
Tower shape Pyramidal
Height 50 feet (15 m)
Focal height 56 feet (17 m)
Original lens Sun valve
Current lens 9.8-inch (250 mm)
Range 7 nautical miles (13 km; 8.1 mi)[1]
Characteristic Fl W 2.5s[1]
ARLHS number USA-1065
USCG number 7-15260

Gull Island Light is a lighthouse on Gull Island, one of the Apostle Islands, in Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin, in Ashland County, Wisconsin USA. The lighthouse was constructed in 1928 and is currently owned by the Coast Guard. Both grounds and tower are closed.[2]


In 1906 the United States Congress was notified by the Lighthouse Board that a light was required to warn ships of the dangerous ledge protruding from the island for about three and a half miles. After consulting the Department of Commerce, who agreed that it would be an appropriate place for a lighthouse, Congress dispatched a survey team to judge the area. In 1908, the captain of the survey team announced that the eastern end of Michigan Island would be a better place for a light, and an extra $15,000 should be added to the existing $85,000 cost. On June 17, 1918, Congress agreed to place a light on the eastern end of Michigan Island.

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania an automated pole light had recently been build to replace the 112-foot (34 m) skeletal tower. United States Lighthouse Service (the successors of the Lighthouse Board) judged the tower to be in great condition, and proposed to disassemble and ship it to Michigan Island. In 1928 Congress agreed on the construction of a light on Gull Island, and work began on assembling the skeletal tower on Michigan Island and on Gull Island.[2]

Current structure and display[edit]

The structure is a 50-foot (15 m) black iron pyramidal skeletal tower.[3] The light characteristic, displayed at 56 feet (17 m), is one white flash every two and a half (Fl W 2.5s) visible for 7 nautical miles (13 km; 8.1 mi).[4] It is produced by a 12 Volt 9.8-inch (250 mm) solar powered optic.[2]

Getting there[edit]

Gull Island Light is owned by the Coast Guard, and the Apostle Island Cruise Service water taxi does not offer any cruises that pass Gull Island. A private boat is the only way to view the light.

See also[edit]


Additional reading[edit]