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Port Washington in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Cistern

 
 
Cistern Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devon Polzar, 2020
1. Cistern Marker
Inscription.  A cistern is an enclosure usually constructed of brick, cut stone or cement that is used to collect rainwater, which runs off the roof via large rain gutters and downspouts. Its purpose is to supply water for bathing and other household uses.

This lighthouse had two cisterns, one external and one internal. The brick half circle you see here was part of the external cistern. It was 8 to 10 feet in depth. This cistern was buried below ground level so that it was less likely to freeze in winter than an above ground structure.

Ceramic tile pipe joined the outside of the cement one located in the basement. The water could be accessed by using a gravity faucet in the basement or via the hand pump located in the kitchen.

When running water was added to the building in 1934, the basement cistern was removed. This external cistern was partially destroyed during the excavation necessary to seal the foundation and lay the footings for our handicap ramp. It is within two feet of the west wall of the kitchen and less than two feet underground.
 
Erected by Port Washington Historical Society
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Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Waterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 43° 23.47′ N, 87° 52.068′ W. Marker is in Port Washington, Wisconsin, in Ozaukee County. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 311 Jonhnson Street, Port Washington WI 53074, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Port Washington Light Station (a few steps from this marker); The Northerner Anchor (a few steps from this marker); Well (within shouting distance of this marker); Oil House (within shouting distance of this marker); Lifeboat from the S.S. Milwaukee (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lights of Port Washington (within shouting distance of this marker); Lakeside Brewery Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Woodland Habitat (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Washington.
 
More about this marker. The marker is on the west side of the building near the rear entrance. Located at the 1860 Light Station which is a museum operated by the Port Washington Historical Society.
 
Cistern Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devon Polzar, 2020
2. Cistern Marker
Light Station's Cistern image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devon Polzar, 2020
3. Light Station's Cistern
1860 Light Station image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devon Polzar, 2020
4. 1860 Light Station
1860 Light Station image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devon Polzar, 2020
5. 1860 Light Station
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 10, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 10, 2021, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 187 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 10, 2021, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 14, 2024