Cana Island Restoration Project

Cana Island Lighthouse Historic PhotoCana Island Restoration Project

Illuminate Our Heritage
The Cana Island Restoration Project is an on-going process of restoring Cana Island Lighthouse to ensure she stands tall for generations to come.

In 2009, the Door County Maritime Museum, Door County Parks Department, and the Historic Structures Report project team identified basic flaws in the current buildings that hindered access by the public, limited interpretation , and caused general degrading of the building infrastructure over time that will, if left unaddressed, result in the loss of historic integrity. 

Phase 1 of the Restoration Project has been completed and included new restroom facilities and a maintenance building; a parking lot; repair to the copper roof; repainting of the tower; repaired masonry on the tower and keeper’s house; restoration of windows and doors; and many other updates.

Phase 2 will begin in 2017 and includes restoring the out buildings including the oil house, privy and barn.

We are now fundraising for Phase 3 of our Restoration Project.  Funds will be used to build a center to include a gift shop, admissions office and an interpretive area.  This center will also house the 3rd Generation Fresnel Lens when it is retired from the lighthouse and replaced. We need your help to accomplish this goal.  Please consider donating to the Cana Island Restoration Fund to ensure future generations can enjoy the rich maritime history of Cana Island Lighthouse.

Phase 4 is scheduled for 2018 will restore the interior of the keeper’s house ($800,000).

 with Paypal or visit our Go Fund Me page for more donation options.


Your help and donations have made great improvements in preserving Cana Island Lighthouse for generations to come.

Cana Island Lighthouse ConstructionWhat We Have Accomplished So Far…PHASE 1

2012– Restroom Facilities and maintenance building erected (cost of $300,000)

2013– Land Acquisition and parking lot construction for safe improved access (cost of $1.5 million)

2014– Baileys Harbor native and landscape architecht, William H. Tishler, began field and archival research on a Cultural Landscape Report outlining a management strategy for each significant landscape component (gardens, tree, stone walls and an archway) that graced Cana Island Light Station during the historic period of 1918-1939 (cost of $10,000)

2014 to 2015– Restoration of the entire exterior of the light tower and keeper’s dwelling, to include: (cost of $984,000)
–The copper roof was repaired on light tower
–The lantern glass was replaced with laminated UV blocking glass to protect the original 3rd Order Fresnel lens
–The lead paint on the light tower was removed and the tower repainted
–All masonry on the tower and keeper’s house was inspected and repaired with more than 1,000 bricks being replaced with historical brick
–Significant carpentry work was done in the keeper’s house to restore/rebuild all windows and doors
–The modern asphalt shingle roof and aluminum gutters on the keeper’s house were removed and replaced with historically correct wood shake shingles and copper gutters
–The sidewalk was replaced and ADA compliant access created
–Landscape around the foundation was completed


Our continued success depends on donation and support from those who wish to see us preserve our heritage. Cana Island Lighthouse has stood tall for over 140 years.  We want to see her standing for centuries to come. Donations may be made via Paypal, GoFundMe, or by sending a check to:

Door County Maritime Museum
Cana Island Restoration Project
120 N Madison Ave.
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

 with PayPal or visit our Go Fund Me page for more donation options.



WLUK-FOX NEWS 11 did a feature on the Cana Island Restoration Project on Wednesday, August 30, 2017.