Sunday, October 22, 2017

INDIANA HARBOR EAST BREAKWATER LIGHTHOUSE

Location: EAST CHICAGO HARBOR, LAKE MICHIGAN, NEAR EAST CHICAGO, INDIANA
Station Established: 1935 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1935
Operational? YES
Automated? UNKNOWN
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: UNKNOWN
Construction Materials: STEEL
Tower Shape: SQUARE STEEL ART DECO TOWER
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL LENS

Historical Information:

  • As industry grew in the 1900s the shoreline of Lake Michigan became prime real estate for steel mills and other factories. The need for breakwaters began apparent to allow the large vessels to dock. Between 1901 and 1903 a breakwater was constructed in the Indiana Harbor.
  • In 1914 the federal government took on responsibility for Indiana Harbor. A lighthouse may have been built in the harbor in 1920, though that is not verified.
  • In 1935, the Indiana Harbor East Breakwater Light was built. It is a twin to the light that was built on the Port Washington, Wisconsin Breakwater the same year.
  • Originally the light was fitted with a fourth order Fresnel lens. Today a green beacon shines from atop the lighthouse. It is not known when the light was automated.
  • The lighthouse is still an active aid to navigation but is not open to the public. It is best seen by boat or air.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.