Christening of the Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower & National Maritime Day Salute

The public is invited to join the Board of Directors of the Door County Maritime Museum on Saturday, May 22 at 11am to celebrate the opening of Sturgeon Bay’s newest landmark! The Christening ceremony for the Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower will take place in the DCMM parking lot and is open to the public. We ask all guests to keep a respectful distance from folks not in their group, and wear a face mask when inside the Museum.

​​​​​​​Rising on the Sturgeon Bay waterfront, the Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower stands as a one-of-a-kind landmark that will create a legacy of maritime history preservation, which will also educate and entertain generations to come. The views from inside the Tower’s 10th floor Working Waterfront exhibit and the rooftop Baumgartner Observation Deck offer an unparalleled panorama spanning the entire historic working waterfront, from the waters of Green Bay to the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal.

More than 400 individual, family, corporate and foundation donors have contributed a total of $5.8 Million to the Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower $7.2 Million construction capital campaign. This includes $1 Million from the George F. Kress Foundation and a $250,000 Community Development Investment grant from the State of Wisconsin’s Economic Development Corporation.

May 22 is National Maritime Day, a United States commemorative day created to recognize the maritime industry. National Maritime Day 2021 also represents four years to the day since the Board of Directors of the Door County Maritime Museum publicly announced the campaign to build a Maritime Lighthouse Tower in Sturgeon Bay.

Following the Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower Christening, at 12pm CDT the museum’s tugboat John Purves will lead the nationwide #MaritimeHonors salute, paying tribute to health care workers who fought to save lives over the past year, while also honoring the merchant mariners who have kept goods moving around the globe despite the challenges of the pandemic.

All vessels are encouraged to sound a “Master’s Salute” simultaneously. A “Master’s Salute” consists of three long blasts (:05 each) followed by two short blasts (:02 each).

The historic tug John Purves will count down on VHF Channel 16 & 71 to the Noon (Central) salute. The Museum, respecting waterways rules, has contacted the US Coast Guard stations in Northeast Wisconsin to make them aware of the plan, as well as seek their participation in the event.

All participating vessels are asked to share video on Facebook or Instagram and tag it with #MaritimeHonors and #DCMaritime.