Baileys Harbor Community Association

Baileys Harbor Community Association

Old Baileys Harbor “Birdcage” Lighthouse

The old Baileys Harbor lighthouse was erected by Alanson Sweet, owner of Captain Bailey’s ship, first to discover Baileys Harbor.

birdcage compressSweet purchased Lighthouse Island for $100 and secured the commission to build the lighthouse in 1851. He used limestone from his own quarry to construct the tower and a 1½ story keepers dwelling. Its most notable characteristic is the birdcage lantern, one of only three in the United States still equipped with this antiquated lantern style.

 
Though it marked the entrance to Baileys Harbor, it provided little guidance to vessels seeking anchorage. Many vessels were grounded while trying to enter the harbor. In December 1869, on the final day of navigation for the season, the light was extinguished for the last time. The Baileys Harbor Range Lights took over the function of marking Baileys Harbor in 1870.
The Birdcage Lighthouse is currently owned privately, but can be seen across the harbor through the telescope on the town marina.