Wisconsin Towns and Places

Two Rivers

Two Rivers is in Manitowoc County. It is located at the confluence of the East and West Twin Rivers, both of which empty into Lake Michigan. The city claims to be “the birthplace of the ice cream sundae.”

It’s fun to visit the Rogers Street Fishing Village, a maritime museum and heritage park. It is known as the “French Side Fishing Village Historic District.  French from the motherland and French Canadians from Quebec established themselves here. It is on the list of the National Register of Historic Places.

The museum is proud of this old boat, built in 1935, and known as “The Buddy O.” She served as a fishing tug.

This fishing shed was once owned by Messrs. Charles LeClaire, Sr. and Jr. The LeClaire family settled in Two Rivers in 1848 and became leaders in the fishing industry and the community.

This is a building with the name “Kahlenberg.” Kahlenberg Brothers Company was established in 1895.  After over 120 years of business, it remains a leading manufacturer of sound signaling products, primarily consisting of pneumatic air and electric horns for marine, industrial, and mass notification use.

This is a sculpture commemorating the historic fishing village. You can see a fisherman standing on his boat holding his net. The 1886 Lighthouse was the first one in the city. It is made entirely of wood. It is known as a pierhead light. That means its primary duty was to mark the harbor entrance. It once stood on the north pier of the harbor. The city moved it onto the museum grounds in 1975. There is some great history behind this lighthouse.

I have told myself several times that I will join the US Coast Guard (USCG) in my next life. The US Life Saving Service came to the city in 1880. It became a USCG Station in 1915. Its primary duties include Search and Rescue (SAR), Maritime Law Enforcement (LE), and pollution response. Twenty to 25 USCG members run the station, bolstered by reserve and auxiliary members. Here you see a USCG rescue boat located at the station. She is a sweet-looking machine!

This is the historic swing bridge in Two Rivers. The Chicago & North Western  Railway built it in 1930. Its mission was to cross the West Twin River to enable trains to cross. It was a complex engineering pivot design. The bridge had to be perfectly balanced at the center before it could swing. It is now owned by Canadian National Railway. It is currently abandoned. The city maintains it as a historical treasure, but there has been talk of scrapping it.

Here you see the 17th Street Bridge. It is new, built in 2013. It is a concrete through girder bascule bridge.  A bascule bridge is a moveable bridge with a counterweight that continuously balances a span, or leaf, throughout its upward swing to provide clearance for boat traffic. In other words, it is a drawbridge.

This is the point at which the two rivers meet to form a harbor out to Lake Michigan.

You can see two fishing boats docked on the East Twin River. The tug to the left is named Peter Paul of the Susie Q Fish Company. The other is a gill net boat named Avis-J.

I took this shot of Two Rivers from the eastern side of the 17th Street Bridge.

Let’s go just a bit to the north of the city to Point Beach State Park.

It is a 2,903-acre Wisconsin state forest along six miles of the Lake Michigan coast. The beachfront is beautiful. The park offers 127 campsites, seventy of which have electric hookups. The Ice Age Trail site is popular for backpack campers hiking the Ice Age Trail. The kayak campsite is only accessible from Lake Michigan.

The Rawley Point Lighthouse is located on the northern edge of the park. The USCG operates it. It has done so since 1853. The light is atop this steel tower that rises 113 feet above the lake's surface. It is one of the largest and brightest on the Great Lakes. It is visible up to 19 miles away\. It operates from a half hour before sunset until a half hour after sunrise.

Speaking of sunset. This is it on the evening I was there.