DNR denies request to restore more buildings at Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, DCHS says

1883 photo of Eagle Bluff Light Station
Photograph of Eagle Bluff Light Station dated 1883, provided by the Door County Historical Society

FISH CREEK, Wis. (WBAY) - The Door County Historical Society board of directors say it is "puzzled and stunned" by the state Department of Natural Resources decision not to include the restoration of two buildings at the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse in the master plan for improvements at Peninsula State Park.

The historical society says the 14,000 to 17,000 people who tour the lighthouse every year are only a fraction of people who visit the grounds. It argued restoring the summer kitchen and rebuilding a barn would provide more opportunities for visitors and tour groups and help ease congestion around the house. It also said the buildings would provide educational opportunities about a lighthouse family's life in the 19th century and need for subsistence farming.

The DNR says site improvements in the master plan will include "facility and exhibit improvements to the interior and exterior of the lighthouse," along with improvements for parking and minor site improvements. The barn was torn down by the Park Service.

The DNR is holding public meetings next week on its "Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape" master plan for Door County and northern Wisconsin.

Plans for Peninsula State Park include:

  • Build a new park entrance visitor station; redesign trails to improve their sustainability and allow for horses and fat tire winter biking

  • Add trailer and vehicle parking stalls near Nicolet Beach Launch and 25 to 50 parking stalls near the beach

  • Upgrade existing facilities for camping

  • Add electricity to camp sites at South Nicolet Bay and add family campsites with electricity throughout the park

  • Build a rustic open-air shelter, that doesn't have electrical power, at Nelson Point

The public meetings are Tuesday, May 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Stone Harbor Resort and Conference Center in Sturgeon Bay and Wednesday, May 30, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the DNR Service Center, 101 N. Ogden Rd., in Peshtigo.