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Name: Pilot Island Light  

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Also known as: Port des Morts Light

Nearest Town or City:
Gills Rock, Wisconsin, United States

Location: Port des Morts Passage, Lake Michigan.

Click to enlarge: Photo    Large photo
Photo: Mike Kohn
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Managing Organization:
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Ports Des Morts Passage, the location of this lighthouse, translates as "Death's Door Passage." The lighthouse has fallen into poor condition. The Friends of Plum & Pilot Islands are trying to save the lighthouse. In 2008 they placed a new roof on the light station.

Tower Height: 41

Height of Focal Plane: 48

Description of Tower: Square brick tower on roof of keeper's dwelling.

Listed on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List of endangered lighthouses.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
1873 integral 2.5 story keeper's dwelling; brick fog signal building; storage building.

Date Established: 1858

Date Present Tower Built: 1858

Date Automated: 1962

Optics: 1873: Fourth order Fresnel lens; now 300 mm, solar powered.

Fog Signal: 1864: Fog trumpet operated by caloric engine; 1875: steam-powered siren; 1904: Compressed-air fog horn.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation.

Open To Public? No.

Pilot Island Light can be seen from the Washington Island Ferry from Northport. Call 800-223-2094 or email for more information. It can also be viewed from lighthouse cruises offered by Shoreline Charters - see or call (920) 854-2606 for details.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places


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