The original Keepers Quarters now serves as the museum gallery. We have several exhibits and artifacts that depict the life of a keeper and maritime history on the Great Lakes.
Captain Roger F. Erdmann • USCG: The Unsung Hero of North Point Lighthouse
Milwaukee’s Melting Pot
Lost and Found: Original Lighthouse Ledgers
The Tug Roger
Other exhibits and artifacts at the Lighthouse museum:
- A timeline of photos that depict the development of the North Point Light Station over the past 150 years;
- The last Fresnel Lens, which was in the light when it was decommissioned in 1994. It sits atop a turntable mounted in front of a background of the actual Lake vistas from the space that housed the lens – the Lantern Room.
- A smaller Fresnel lens from the first lighthouse that served Milwaukee’s Harbor from a downtown Milwaukee site dating from 1838.
- A panel describing how a Fresnel Lens works, the genius of how they physically projected the light from a simple oil lamp more than 20 miles into the Lake night.
- Panels that tell the story of some of the early Keepers of Milwaukee’s lights; beginning with Eli Bates (who kept the original Milwaukee Lighthouse from 1838) through the first keeper of the Light brought to North Point in 1855; North Point’s longest-serving keeper, Georgia Stebbins, to Reynold Johnson, the last US Lighthouse Service Keeper before lighthouses became staffed by the United States Coast Guard.
- A table belonging to Georgia Stebbins (provided by her descendants) which actually sat in the lighthouse parlor overlooking the Lake.
- A replica of US Lighthouse Service Keeper’s uniform.
- The 800 lb. brass Fog Bell that perched on caissons at the mouth of the “straight cut” into Milwaukee’s Harbor in 1893 to guide pre-instrument sailors.
- Artifacts off the wreck of the Car Ferry Milwaukee which sank on October 22, 1929, taking 55 lives.
- The binnacle off the wreck of the SS Wisconsin which sank on October 29, 1929.
- A model of the Lucia S. Simpson, an 1875 3-masted schooner typical of the craft that served the Great Lakes in the late 1800s.
- Several display cabinets displaying finer artifacts and exhibits, including:
- An oak transportable lending library with the actual books which was taken by tenders from the Milwaukee Light House Depot to remote lighthouses on the Lake at the turn of the 18th to19th Century;
- Georgia Stebbins’ personal scrapbook, which she started in 1866 and kept over her tenure which discloses much about an early Keeper’s life.
- Brass pitchers, funnels and trays stamped “US Lighthouse Service” which were used by early keepers to carefully manage the
mineral oil originally lit the North Point Light.
- The ship’s wheel, compass and port light off the wreck of the 3-masted schooner Grace A. Channon which sank in 1877.
- An exhibit which tells the story of the “Great Crib Disaster” of 1893 in which 15 miners working on a water intake tunnel perished.