The caretakers of Wind Point Lighthouse plan to move out later this year, and the village will soon be looking for new tenants.
"Not everybody gets to live and work in a piece of American history," said caretaker Mike Arts.
Wind Point Lighthouse in Racine County is a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. The lighthouse has been around for 130 years, and the last 10 years Mike and Susan Arts have been taking care of it.
"Basically what you're doing is you're trading time for money," said Arts.
They do the gardening, give tours, coordinate rentals, and even clean the restrooms in exchange for living on the grounds rent free.
"We have a small portion of the downstairs. Kitchen, dining room, living room and then we have the entire upstairs," said Arts.
The move came with some getting used to.
"The people pulling in the driveway aren't here to see you... Or getting up in the morning and seeing a half dozen photographers out in the yard."
Mike says the view makes it worthwhile.
"The waves, the lake, waking up in the morning and being able to go out to the lake, definitely gonna miss that," said Arts.
The caretakers will move out in August, but plan to stay in the Village of Wind Point. They both have full time jobs on top of the lighthouse.
"We think it's just time to start having a little but more free time. Having a little bit more of a private life 'cause this is a little bit like living in a fish bowl."
He calls the opportunity a privilege, and has some advice for the next caretaker.
"Be patient, have a sense of humor and be ready to work, but it's worthwhile. It really is worthwhile. It's an experience that very few people get," said Arts.
When the Arts applied for the job in 2007, there were more than 150 applicants. The village is discussing what the job entails and will begin taking applications once that's finalized.
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