the north face boys jackets A cone and a climb
Making the climbAlthough adventurous souls have plenty of opportunities during the spring, summer and fall to climb the 72 steps to the lantern room at the top, the ice cream social event usually sees many climbers.
That could be because Kenosha County residents could make the trek up the tower for free at the event. Visitors from outside the county paid $5.
There is usually a $5 fee for Kenosha County Historical Society members and kids 8 12 and a $10 for non members to tour the tower on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. From May through October.
Admission to the Southport Light Station Museum in the adjacent lighthouse keeper’s house, 5117 Fourth Ave., is free.
Last year, the event saw 200 people make the climb. Since this year’s event was extended two more hours, Chris Allen, coordinator of marketing and events for the Kenosha History Center, predicted an additional 50 would go to the top Saturday.
It was a climb that a lighthouse keeper would make five to 15 times a day, tower attendant Ron Luttrell told those waiting for their turn on the metal spiral staircase.
Luttrell, who has volunteered at the post for eight years, was an encyclopedia of lighthouse knowledge. He told visitors about the weight system, similar to a cuckoo clock, that had to be reset by pulling a chain in the bottom of the tower. The weights rotated the lens at the top.
“The taller the tower, the thicker the walls,” Luttrell said, explaining that the Southport Lighthouse walls are 4.5 feet thick at the bottom and 2.5 feet thick at the top. Each stair is anchored six inches into the wall.
Facelift forthcomingWork is scheduled at the end of August to have the brickwork tuck pointed and have the bottom fascia repaired, said Don Shepard, executive director of the Kenosha History Center.
Custom Restoration of Milwaukee will come with about 120 Cream City bricks to replace damaged bricks and perform the maintenance.
The north face of the tower takes the biggest beating, Shepard said.
“I don’t know if we’ll look that good at 150 years,” he quipped.
Passport stamp for someLighthouse aficionados come from far and wide to Kenosha, to get a double dose of their favorite thing.
Armed with their United States Lighthouse Society passports, they make stops at the Southport Light Station Museum and the Kenosha History Center next door, to get two different stamps for their passports.
It’s similar to the popular National Park Passport program, only with lighthouses as the goal.
“People are trying to get all the lighthouses around the country,” said Cynthia Nelson, the Kenosha History Center’s curator of collections. “Lighthouse people will go up there no matter how hot it is.”