Monday, December 18, 2006

Standing against the waves of change

Kewaunee, Wisconsin had hopes of becoming the next Chicago in the late 1800s. A building boom ensued upon rumors that gold had been discovered in the area. The Kewaunee River was dredged and a pair of lights installed on a pier that jutted into Lake Michigan to guide the many ships that were expected to dock in the harbor. And for a time, Kewaunee reaped the benefits of its lakeshore investment.

The growth just couldn't be sustained. To the south of Kewaunee, Manitowoc's rail lines to Green Bay and other Wisconsin cities allowed products to get to a major port faster than the long and hazardous trip around the Door County peninsula that commerce with Kewaunee required.

Today, a century after the vision of a mighty city on the lake faded away, the pier light of the village of Kewaunee still stands resolute against the natural and economic forces that continue to ebb and flow.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2006 James Jordan.

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