Baileys Harbor's Old Birdcage Lighthouse was built by Mr. Alison Sweet. Selecting a one thousand foot by two hundred and fifty foot island as the best location for the tower, Sweet's crew began construction in 1852. With lake levels extremely low that year, they were able to transport all the building materials directly to the island. Built of native stone from Sweet's quarry, the fifty-two foot tower was capped with a birdcage-style lantern room, and equipped with a fixed white Sixth Order Fresnel lens. As was usual in lantern rooms of this style, the lens was supported in the center of the tower with no platform or catwalk surrounding the lantern room. The lens was later upgraded to a fixed white Fifth Order Fresnel in 1858.