One Lighthouse, Free to Good Caretaker

If you don't mind an occasional, blaring foghorn and the somewhat remote location, this could be the perfect getaway.

  • Share
  • Read Later
Getty Images

The Wisconsin Point Lighthouse (also know as the Superior Harbor South Breakwater Lighthouse) is available for free, courtesy of the U.S. government.

Are you looking for a new home? The U.S. Government has a deal for you: Beautiful historic lakefront property, 360-degree water views, panoramic vistas, must not mind occasional foghorn or bright lights. The cost? Absolutely nothing. The hitch? It’s a lighthouse on Lake Superior.

The Superior Harbor South Breakwater lighthouse, located in Lake Superior near Duluth, MN, is being offered free to any eligible entity for educational, recreational, cultural or historic preservation purposes, because the U.S. Coast Guard who monitors the lake, no longer needs the beacon.

(MORE: From the Archives – National Affairs: Lighthouses for Sale)

Advances in technology mean that lighthouses, which were once critical to maintaining marine safety, are becoming increasingly irrelevant and can be costly to maintain. However their unique architecture and isolated waterfront placement makes them sought after locations for sea lovers and history buffs. In a win-win situation, under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, the government can hand over lighthouses to worthy stewards willing to put in the time and effort to preserve the structures. The government can save tax dollars while preserving the past and making a community’s, educator’s or lighthouse fan’s day.

The Superior lighthouse dates back to 1911 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Whoever takes control of the Superior lighthouse will have to agree to several conditions, including maintaining the structure to federal standards. In addition, according to the Pioneer Press, “the Coast Guard reserves an unrestricted right to enter the structure to service, replace or move the still-operating aids to navigation.” Aids include a light that flashes green every five seconds as well as a fog signal that sounds for three seconds, twice a minute as needed.

If relocating to a windy outpost on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border doesn’t appeal to you, the government is also offering five lighthouses in Michigan as well as one in Connecticut for free transfer under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act.

MORE: On the Great Lakes, a Dry Summer Slows a Recovering Shipping Industry

MORE: The Housing Mirage