The Ridges Sanctuary

Preservation, Education, and Research

From the Keeper’s Desk


Welcome to our New Blog! "From the Keeper's Desk".

As many of you know, the Baileys Harbor Range Lights live at the epicenter of The Ridges Sanctuary. If it weren't for the Range Lights, there wouldn't be a sanctuary. Since 1869, these buildings have stood tall telling us a story that needs to be shared. From a navigational aid, to the keeper's residence, a Lutheran Parsonage, private residence, Ridges Naturalists housing, Sanctuary Offices, and finally to a restored museum, the Baileys Harbor Range Lights have been a shining example of Baileys Harbor's incredible cultural history.

In this blog, you'll find restoration updates, stories published in national publications, and updates from our very own Range Light Keeper, Henry Gattie, AKA Ed Miller! Follow along for updates as we navigate through the new era of Range Lights.


The US Lighthouse Society Awards Grant to The Ridges Sanctuary

The United States Lighthouse Society (USLHS), a nonprofit historical and educational organization in Hansville, Washington, has awarded a $1,000 Emergency Relief Grant to The Ridges Sanctuary to help offset the business cost of operating the Baileys Harbor Range Lights during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The grant will be used to offset insurance, maintenance and utility costs associated with operating the Baileys Harbor Range Lights.  Of the 35 organizations selected to receive the USLHS grant, only two were in Wisconsin.  The other recipient was the Northpoint Lighthouse Friends group in Milwaukee.


From the Keeper's Desk - May 11th, 2021


We want to share pictures of the floor refinishing project. It is amazing how complete the rooms look now that the floors look so good.

Taylor of Taylor’s Hardwood Floors completed the refinishing of the floors and steps in the Range Light Friday May 7.  He did a superb job. And the sanding of the floors was dust free. He has great dust control on his equipment. He repaired holes in the maple flooring using maple floor boards salvaged from the bathroom before the subfloor was repaired to allow for installation of tile flooring. The finished job looks wonderful. It transformed the lighthouse!

It is interesting how the stair spindles are secured to the steps. To make it easier to refinish some of the hard to reach bull nose pieces on the side of the steps Taylor removed them. As one of the pictures below illustrate the carpenters who installed the stairs put a dovetail on the bottom of the spindle and cut a matching dovetail in the end of each step. The end bull nose piece hides that feature.

Sandy and I still need to paint the risers on the stairways and after that is done we will install stair tread protectors. Photos below to show what they look like. The risers will be painted grey. We also have some commercial floor mats to help protect the newly refinished floors we will put at the entrances, in the hallway and in the rooms on the first floor. Eventually we would like to find some large braided rugs to put on the floors for a more homey look while protecting the floors. There are braided rugs on the floors at Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and they add a nice touch to the rooms.

We still have some baseboard to finish painting. Somewhere along the line we will need to install base shoe moulding. What was used in the lighthouse was more like a quarter round moulding.

Looking forward to be able to show everyone in person how great it looks.

Still on the list to be done soon is repairing and painting the oil house roof red, repairing the oil house door, mortar repair on the oil house, installing a new foundation under the privy and restoration work on the inside and outside of the privy. Sidewalks need to be replaced in various areas around the lighthouse. Some work needs to be done on the foundation parging.

Thanks to Eric Peil for keeping the restoration work moving along and Taylor for getting the floors and steps done in time for the seasonal opening of the lighthouse.

Sandy and Ed



From the Keeper's Desk - Sunday, June 2nd, 2019


Here are some photos of the Rear (Upper) Range Light interior and how it looks after Sandy and I got it set up for tours last Friday and Saturday. It looks great with the new plaster work and paint. Denny Peil did a fantastic job restoring all the windows. You might wonder how did we get to this point. There were some issues with the plaster and all of it was eventually removed from the walls and ceilings. Blueboard (a type of sheetrock) was installed over the lath once all the plaster was removed and a layer of plaster was put on the blueboard. Once that was done Sherrill Eichler, Dave Zuhlke, Dan Niesen, Sandy and I primed and painted the first floor bedroom, parlor and dining room. Still a few thing to finish. A shelf has to go up over Henry’s desk and the grill needs to be painted and installed back on the dining room ceiling. We have a photo of Henry and Eve that Ann had printed that needs to go in an oval frame above the settee. Larry and Cynthia Crock are donating a beautiful lamp that will go above the table next to the settee. That is why the lamp that was on the table next to the settee is now on the dining room table.

The interpretative panels that Sandy designed were produced by Pete Schuster and arrived last Thursday. This will enable tour guides to help visitors get a good understanding of life at the Range Light as they tour the lighthouse.

The outside looks great as it is getting close to being done. Some areas need a second coat of paint. Peil Construction had lots of the guys working on it last week. I need some better photos of the outside, hopefully with the scaffolding gone.

More to come later to show the work that lead up to where we are now. I wanted to get this out now so tour guides know what to expect.


June 1, 2019 - looking into the dining room from the kitchen steps

June 1 – dining room

June 1 – dining room

June 1 – dining room

June 1 – pantry

June 1 – parlor

June 1 - parlor

June 1 – parlor

June 1 – parlor

June 1 – first floor bedroom featured as Henry’s office

June 1 – Henry’s office

June 1 – Henry’s office, shelf on desk has to be installed on wall above the desk

June 1 – Henry’s office

June 1 – second floor bedroom

June 1 – second floor bedroom

June 1 – second floor bedroom, note ropes across the door, it can be left open

June 1 – the other side of the door looking into the bedroom

June 1 – exterior

June 1 – exterior

June 1  - exterior

Black and white photo which is the basis of how it is supposed to look


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