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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Racine in Racine County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Racine Harbor

Lake Michigan Pathway

 
 
The Racine Harbor Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 8, 2013
1. The Racine Harbor Marker
Inscription.

Racine's Harbor has gone through many transformations since the city's first settlers arrived. In 1836 the Root River entered the lake near the center of today's Gaslight Pointe. While the river channel was as much as 15 feet deep, the entrance itself was only two feet deep, restricted by a sandbar created by lake currents. Most ships anchored well offshore and sent passengers and goods to the beach in small skiffs. In 1843 the citizens of Racine decided to tax themselves to dredge the river and open a new channel through the sandbar. The first ship sailed into the harbor in 1855. By 1875 harbor activity reached its peak, and Racine became the fifth busiest port on the Great Lakes behind Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago.

The next major change in Racine's harbor history came in 1912 when work began on the North and South breakwaters. These piers were completed in 1925. The look of Racine's harbor stayed pretty much the same until the mid-1980s, when Downtown and community revitalization efforts led to the design and construction of a 921-slip marina. In the Fall of 1987, Racine residents celebrated the creation of this new "state of the art" marina with its new lakefront park and the promise of a revitalized economy.

[Photo captions read]
[1.]
Historic view of the entrance to Racine's harbor
The Racine Harbor Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 8, 2013
2. The Racine Harbor Marker
Looking north
looking west, near the Coast Guard station. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the protective wooden piers in 1864.

[2.] This view of Racine's Harbor drawn in 1883 (above) shows the wooden piers built to protect the entrance to the Root River. These piers were replaced by the North and South breakwaters in 1925 (shown in middle right photo taken in 1984). The last major change to Racine's Harbor occurred in 1987, with the construction of the city's new marina (far right).

Photos from the Racine Heritage Museum Archives Collection
 
Location. 42° 43.625′ N, 87° 46.719′ W. Marker is in Racine, Wisconsin, in Racine County. Marker is at the intersection of Pershing Park Drive and 6th Street, on the right when traveling north on Pershing Park Drive. Click for map. Marker is along the lakefront's Lake Michigan Pathway at Pershing Park, between parking lots. Marker is in this post office area: Racine WI 53403, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Racine County Historical Museum (approx. 0.2 miles away); Racine, Wisconsin (approx. 0.2 miles away); Jerome Increase Case / Mascot and Trademark (approx. 0.2 miles away); Joshua Glover Commemorative Marker
Illustration on The Racine Harbor Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, 1883
3. Illustration on The Racine Harbor Marker
Courtesy of Racine Heritage Museum
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Civil War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Blake House / Lucius S. Blake (approx. 0.4 miles away); Racine City Hall (approx. 0.6 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Racine.
 
Also see . . .
1. Lake Michigan Pathway, Racine WI. (Submitted on October 9, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. City of Racine WI Official Website. (Submitted on October 9, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
Harbor View About a Century Ago image. Click for full size.
circa 1915
4. Harbor View About a Century Ago
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 228 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   4. submitted on . This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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