Port Washington in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
A Lakefront in Transition
1835: Port Washington is founded. No natural harbor exists.
Circa 1844: A private pier is built at the end of "Pier" Street.
1849: The first lighthouse and keeper's dwelling is built on the north bluff (St. Mary's Hill).
1860: New cream city brick light station with a tower capping its roof is built on the same site. Three private piers now extend out into the lake.
1870: The federal government funds the construction of the first artificial harbor on the Great Lakes. It consists of two east/west piers extending from the mouth of Sauk Creek and the current west slip. A north slip is built soon after to reduce the storm surges.
1889: A wooden pierhead lighthouse is erected at the end of north pier.
1931-1935: The present federal breakwater and lighthouse is built. Electric generating plant and docking facility is constructed at the same time, creating a whole new harbor. Instead of making a safer harbor, the result is a harbor that provides safe refuge only in fair weather.
1981: Federal funds are appropriated to create a safe inner harbor. The marina is built as a joint city/county/state project. West and north slips are still unprotected.
1997: Port Washington enlarges the marina by closing off the north slip and cutting a channel through the peninsula.
Location. 43° 23.23′ N, 87° 52.06′ W. Marker is in Port Washington, Wisconsin, in Ozaukee County. Click for map. The marker is located in Rotary Park which is at the end of East Grand Avenue. Marker is at or near this postal address: East Grand Avenue, Port Washington WI 53074, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Of Valor and Sorrow (here, next to this marker); Those That Fished (here, next to this marker); The Art of Commercial Fishing (here, next to this marker); They Had To Go A Fishin' (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Those That Fished (here, next to this marker); Port Washington State Bank Centennial Pavilion (a few steps from this marker); Lake Michigan Habitat (within shouting distance of this marker); Sidewheel Steamer Niagara (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in Port Washington.
More about this marker. The marker is part of the Commercial Fishermen's Memmorial.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 106 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.