Construction of Baileys Harbor Lighthouse began in 1852 and in 1853 David Ward became the first lighthouse keeper. It was the third lighthouse constructed in Door County after the lighthouses on Rock Island and Plum Island. An 1866 inspection declared the lighthouse was in "very defective condition" and in late fall of 1869 it closed. This coincided with the opening of the Baileys Harbor Range Lights and Cana Island Lighthouse in 1870. Today the island is privately owned and the lighthouse is in decay but still standing.