Lighthouses of the United States: Central and Northern New York

Rich in waterways, the U.S. state of New York is equally rich in lighthouses. This page includes the lighthouses of central and northern New York, including eastern Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Champlain, and several inland lakes. There are additional pages for Western New York and for Southeastern New York.

Although there is no state lighthouse preservation society in New York, there are many regional and local preservation groups. Upstate, lighthouse preservation efforts are particularly strong at Buffalo and at several locations on Lakes Ontario and Erie. The lighthouses of Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River, however, are less well known and somewhat neglected; many of them are in private hands.

Navigational aids in the United States are operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, but ownership (and sometimes operation) of historic lighthouses has been transferred to local authorities and preservation organizations in many cases. Lighthouses on Lakes Erie and Ontario are operated by the Coast Guard Ninth District in Cleveland, Ohio; those on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Champlain are operated by the Coast Guard First District in Boston, Massachusetts.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. USCG numbers for Lake Champlain lighthouses are from Volume I of the USCG Light List; for the St. Lawrence River and Lakes Erie and Ontario the numbers are from Volume VII. For lights close to the Candian border CCG numbers are from the Canadian Coast Guard's List of Lights, Buoys and Fog Signals. For lights on the St. Lawrence Seaway, Admiralty numbers are from volume H of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. For Oneida Lake and Cayuga Lake lighthouses, NYSC numbers are from the light list of the New York State Canal System.

General Sources
New York Lighthouses
Photos, travel directions, and historical accounts by Kraig Anderson.
Lighthouses of New York
Photos and accounts by Bryan Penberthy.
Lighthouses in New York
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Lighthouses in New York, United States
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Lake Ontario Lighthouses
Photos by C.W. Bash.
Lighthouses of Lake Ontario
Part of William Britten's Lighthouse Getaway site.
Online List of Lights - St. Lawrence Seaway (Bordering United States)
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas. The photos for the St. Lawrence are by Michael Boucher.
Leuchttürme USA auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images of U.S. lighthouses posted by Klaus Huelse.
NOAA Nautical Chart On-Line Viewer: Great Lakes
Nautical charts for this area can be viewed online. Note: chart 14786.07 covers Cayuga and Seneca Lakes.
U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center: Light Lists
The USCG Light List can be downloaded in pdf format.

Selkirk Light
Selkirk Light, Selkirk, April 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo copyright C.W. Bash

Eastern Lake Ontario Lighthouses

Oswego County Lighthouses
** Oswego Harbor West Pierhead (2)
1934 (station established 1880). Active; focal plane 57 ft (17.5 m); flash every 5 s, alternating red and white. Approx. 40 ft (12 m) square cylindrical metal tower with lantern and gallery, rising from one corner of a 1-story keeper's house, mounted on a stone caisson-like foundation at the end of the pier. The original 4th order Fresnel lens is on display at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum adjacent to the pier. Buildings painted white with red roofs. Fog horn (blast every 30 s). A photo is at right, Lighthouse Digest has Tim Harrison's article on the history of the station, the museum has a web page for the lighthouse, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Robert Yasinsac has posted photos from a visit inside the tower, the Coast Guard has a historic photo, and Google has a satellite view. In 2006 the lighthouse was offered for transfer under NHLPA, and city officials worked with the H. Lee White Maritime Museum to acquire the lighthouse. The deed was transferred to the city in May 2009. Rehabilitation of the lighthouse began in late 2012, aided by a $225,000 grant from the State Canal Corporation, and was completed in early spring 2013. Volunteers work steadily improving the lighthouse step by step. In 2017 the city secured a $100,000 state grant for more substantial repairs to the roof and foundation. Tours of the lighthouse began in the late summer of 2016 and will continue in 2017. Located at the end of West First Street in downtown Oswego. Good view from the city's Breitbeck Park. Site and tower open to guided tours during the summer months. Owner: City of Oswego. Lessee/site manager: H. Lee White Maritime Museum. ARLHS USA-571; USCG 7-2080.
* [Fort Ontario]
1822. Inactive since 1841. The original Oswego lighthouse was built on the east side of the Oswego River entrance; the 1-story stone keeper's house survives and is preserved within Fort Ontario State Historic Site. Google has a satellite view. There is a marker for the former location of the lighthouse in the park. A historic weather bureau coastal warning display tower is also nearby. Site open.

Oswego Harbor West Pierhead Light, Oswego, September 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Andrea
** Selkirk (Port Ontario, Salmon River)
1838 (Jabez Meacham). Reactivated (inactive 1858-1989; now privately maintained); focal plane 50 ft (15 m); white flash every 2 s. 32 ft (10 m) octagonal red-shingled tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on the roof of a 2-1/2 story fieldstone keeper's house; 190 mm lens. The tower still has its original (and very rare) birdcage lantern. Bash's photo is at the top of this page, Britten has a fine photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. An architectural treasure, this is one of the oldest "integral" lighthouses in the country, and it is the oldest one surviving without significant modification. A historic photo from the Library of Congress shows how little the building has been altered. After deactivation, the building was used as a lifesaving station for a number of years before being sold at auction in 1895; the new owners operated it as part of a hotel for many years. Privately restored beginning in 1987, the building is now a guest house (operating April through November) with accommodations available by the day or week. In 2003 the owners placed the property for sale for $1.25 million. There were no takers, so the owners hired new managers who renovated and improved the property while preserving the lighthouse. In early 2014 the lighthouse and marina were sold to the Ellis and Barnell families. Located on Lake Road (county route 5) adjacent to the Lighthouse Marina on the north side of the entrance to the Salmon River in Selkirk. Site open, tower open by appointment. Owner/site manager: Salmon River Lighthouse and Marina. ARLHS USA-719; USCG 7-2015.

Western Jefferson County Lighthouses
* Stony Point (Henderson) (2)
1869 (station established 1830). Inactive since 1946; charted as a landmark. 73 ft (22 m) square cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, attached to 1-1/2 story keeper's house. Tower painted white, lantern black. This is one of two Stony Point Lights in New York; see under Hudson River Lighthouses on the Downstate page for the other one. Penberthy has a closeup photo, John Oliveira has a view from the lake, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Foundations of the original (1830) lighthouse are visible. The lighthouse was repaired after being damaged by fire in 1966. Privately owned; the lighthouse was sold in 2002 for $272,500. The new owners, Willie and Sherry Faust, have replaced the roof and made other renovations to restore a more authentic appearance to the building. Located at the end of Lighthouse Road west of Henderson. Site and tower closed, but there's an excellent view from the road. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-814.
Stony Point (3?)
1947 (?). Active; focal plane 40 ft (12 m); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 36 ft (11 m) square skeletal tower, painted white. The tower can be seen in a small aerial photo on Anderson's page, and Google has a satellite view. Located in front of the historic lighthouse. Site and tower closed. USCG 7-2010.
Galloo Island (2)
1867 (station established 1829). Inactive since 2011. 55 ft (16.5 m) round limestone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-1/2 story limestone keeper's house. Anderson has an excellent page for the lighthouse, a 2009 photo and a 2013 photo are available, Lighthouse Digest has Bill Edwards's article on the history of the station, the Coast Guard has a historic photo, and Google has a satellite view. In 2000 the U.S. General Services Administration sold the lighthouse at auction after no public agency came forward to accept it. The owners, Anthony and Cara Dibnah, put the property back on the market in 2002 with an asking price of $295,000. There were no takers, and an effort to sell the lighthouse on eBay in November 2005 did not lead to a sale. The property was withdrawn from the market in 2007, and it was not on the market at the end of 2016. The lighthouse was deactivated in the late summer of 2011. Located at the southwest end of Galloo Island, about 12 mi (20 km) west of Henderson Harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-314; ex-USCG 7-2000.
Sackets Harbor (Sackett's Harbor, Horse Island) (2)
1870 (station established 1831). Inactive since 1957; charted as a landmark. 70 ft (21 m) square cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-1/2 story keeper's house. Formerly painted white, the tower is reverting to red brick; lantern painted red. Sibling of the Stony Point (Henderson) Light. Mark Wentling has posted historic photos, Lighthouse Digest has a May 2004 feature on life at the light station, and Google has a satellite view. The light station was sold to Carl Martin in 1957, and the Martin family continues to maintain it as a summer residence. The active light was moved to a skeletal tower (next entry). Located on Horse Island, a small island just west of Sackets Harbor. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-380.
Sackets Harbor (3?)
1957 (?). Active; focal plane 57 ft (17 m); white flash every 2.5 s. 52 ft (16 m) square skeletal tower. Anderson has a small photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located in a forest in front of the historic lighthouse. Site and tower closed. USCG 7-1850.
Cherry Island
Date unknown (station established 1911). Active; focal plane 43 ft (13 m); white flash every 4 s. 39 ft (12 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower carrying a red daymark panel. Several photos (halfway down the page) are available, a 1913 report describes the original lighthouse, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the southwest end of Cherry Island, a narrow island that separates Chaumont Bay from Guffin Bay about 6 mi (10 km) southwest of Chaumont. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown (the island is probably privately owned). USCG 7-1780.
East Charity Shoal
1877 (relocated in 1935 from Vermillion, Ohio). Active; focal plane 52 ft (16 m); white flash every 4 s. 40 ft (12 m): 30 ft (9 m) octagonal cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, atop a 1-story octagonal concrete base, mounted on a concrete crib. Modern solar-powered lens (1992). Penberthy has a photo by Albert Smith, Schultheiss has photos by Greg Lortz and Dave Wobser, Trabas has Boucher's photo, the Coast Guard has a historic photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This light was refurbished and relocated from Vermillion, Ohio, where it had been damaged severely in a storm in 1929. In 2008 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA. No group was interested in acquiring it, and in September 2009 the lighthouse was sold for $25,501 to Cyrena Nolan of Dallas, Texas. She said she hoped to refurbish it as a vacation cottage. Located in Lake Ontario about 7 mi (11 km) southwest of Tibbetts Point and only a few feet from the U.S.-Canada border. Accessible only by boat; the lighthouse can be seen with binoculars from Tibbett's Point Light. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-970; Admiralty H2833.2; CCG 391.92; USCG 7-1760.
*** Tibbett's Point (2)
1854 (station established 1827). Active; focal plane 69 ft (21 m); white light occulting every 10 s. 59 ft (18 m) round cylindrical stucco-clad brick tower with lantern and gallery; original 4th order Fresnel lens. Tower painted white, lantern black. 2-1/2 story keeper's house (1880) and 1-story brick fog signal building (1895). The steam-powered diaphone fog signal (1927) has been preserved in operational condition, although it is no longer used. Doug Kerr's photo is at right, Marinas.com has aerial photos, the Coast Guard has a 1974 aerial photo, Pat McAvoy-Costin has an article on the history of the station, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This very well-preserved light station features one of the first masonry lighthouses built by the Lighthouse Board and the only operational Fresnel lens on Lake Ontario. Ownership of the light station was transferred to the Village of Cape Vincent in 1991. The keeper's house is leased to Hostelling International as a youth hostel, but the rest of the station is leased to the Tibbetts Point Lighthouse Historical Society. The society works for restoration of the tower and maintains a lighthouse museum (1993) on site. An exterior restoration was completed in 1999. Located southwest of Cape Vincent at the point where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. Site and museum open daily late June through early September and Friday through Sunday late May through late June and early September through early October; hostel operates mid-May to mid-October; tower closed. Owner: Village of Cape Vincent. Lessee/site managers: Tibbetts Point Lighthouse Historical Society and Tibbetts Point Lighthouse Hostel. ARLHS USA-848; Admiralty H2836; USCG 7-1735.
Tibbetts Point Light
Tibbett's Point Light, Cape Vincent, August 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Doug Kerr

St. Lawrence River Lighthouses (see also Southeastern Ontario)

Note: The St. Lawrence River flows along the border between the U.S. and Canada for the first 120 mi (190 km) of its course as it leaves Lake Ontario. The river is part of an international waterway, the St. Lawrence Seaway, connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. Aids to navigation on the U.S. portion of the Seaway are maintained by the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.
Northern Jefferson County Lighthouses
* Cape Vincent Breakwater
1904. Inactive since 1951. 7.5 m (25 ft) square wood tower (now covered with white aluminum siding) with lantern and gallery. Lantern painted black. Alan Brodie has a closeup photo, another photo is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Formerly mounted at the end of the breakwater, the lighthouse was removed and relocated in 1951. An identical tower at the other end of the breakwater was sold into private ownership and has since been demolished. The Coast Guard has a historic photo of the lights on the breakwater. Located beside NY 12E (Market Street) near Stone Quarry Road at the southern entrance to Cape Vincent. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Village of Cape Vincent. ARLHS USA-141.
Carleton Island (2)
1914 (station established 1899). Inactive since the 1920s. 85 ft (26 m) square skeletal tower. 2-story wood keeper's house, abandoned. No photo available, and the tower has not been found in Google's satellite view. The original light was a lantern hung from an 86 ft (26 m) wood mast. Located on the southwest point of Carleton Island, about 3 mi (5 km) northeast of Cape Vincent Village. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed (the island is privately owned). ARLHS USA-1246.
[Carleton Island (3?) (Leading Light)]
Date unknown (station established 1899). Active (maintained by the Seaway authority); focal plane 29 ft (9 m); continuous green light visible only along the range line. 26 ft (8 m) square skeletal tower carrying a triangular daymark painted with orange and black vertical stripes and mounted on a square concrete base. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the southwest point of Carleton Island, about 3 mi (5 km) northeast of Cape Vincent Village. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed (the island is privately owned). Admiralty H2828; CCG 386.5; USCG 7-1670.
*** Rock Island (2)
1882 (station established 1847). Reactivated (inactive 1956-2013, now maintained by the state); focal plane 52 ft (16 m); continuous white light). 50 ft (15 m) tower: 30 ft (9 m) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, a sibling of Ten Pound Island MA, raised atop a 20 ft (6 m) round brick tower in 1903. Entire tower painted white. 2-story frame keeper's quarters (1882), steel generator house (1900), and other buildings; an unusually well preserved light station. Anderson has a fine page for the lighthouse, Mireille Harvey has a 2017 closeup photo, another good photo is available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, the Coast Guard has a historic photo, and Google has a satellite view. Local summer residents have supported the lighthouse informally over the years, and in 2000 the Rock Island Lighthouse Historical and Memorial Association was formed to publicize the history of the station, encourage preservation of the light station, and promote better public access. The Association's web site has a drawing of the original lighthouse and historic photos of the present light before and after its height was increased. In June 2010, work began on a $1.1 million restoration project. The work was completed in early 2013 and the lighthouse opened for tours in June. There is a small museum and gift shop in the keeper's house, and docking for boats is provided. Located on an island in the St. Lawrence between Fisher's Landing and Thousand Island Park, southwest of Alexandria Bay. Accessible only by boat. Tour boats from Clayton often pass the island. Site and tower open in season. Owner/site manager: New York State Parks. ARLHS USA-697; Admiralty H2806; USCG 7-1473.
Sunken Rock (Alexandria Bay) (Seaway Light 189) (2)
1884 (station established 1847). Active (maintained by the Seaway authority); focal plane 30 ft (9 m); green flash every 4 s. 30 ft (9 m) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, original 6th order Fresnel lens converted to solar power. Tower painted white, lantern green. 1-story boathouse. The lighthouse is a sibling of Ten Pound Island Light, Massachusetts. A photo is at right, Michael Ginnerup has a photo, Britten has a fine photo, Trabas has Boucher's photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located on an artificial island in the St. Lawrence north of Alexandria Bay. Accessible only by boat. Good views from the waterfront in Alexandria Bay or from river cruises. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. ARLHS USA-828; Admiralty H2786; USCG 7-1340.
Sunken Rock Light
Sunken Rock Light, Alexandria Bay, July 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by aj-clicks

St. Lawrence County Lighthouses
Sisters Island
1870. Inactive since 1959; charted as a landmark. 60 ft (18 m) square cylindrical limestone brick tower with lantern and gallery, rising from one side of a 1-1/2 story limestone keeper's house; lantern painted white with a red roof. William Lower has a closeup photo, Farhad Vladi has an aerial view, and Google has a satellite view. When the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959 the lighthouse was deactivated and sold to Edward Wolos and Emil Gavel; the Wolos family has owned and maintained it ever since. The active light (Seaway Light 178, focal plane 28 ft (8.5 m), red flash every 4 s) is on a post at the northeast end of the island; Trabas has Boucher's photo. Located on Sisters Island in the St. Lawrence off Schermerhorn Landing, about 2.5 miles (4 km) southwest of Chippewa Bay. Visible from NY 12 about 6 miles (10 km) east of Alexandria Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-1053; Admiralty H2778; USCG 7-1280.
Crossover Island (2) (Seaway Light 160)
1882 (station established 1848). Inactive since 1941; charted as a landmark. 30 ft (9 m) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white, lantern red. 1-1/2 story Queen Anne style frame keeper's quarters (1848). Oil house and other buildings also preserved. A modern post light (Seaway Light 160, focal plane 28 ft (8.5 m); red flash every 4 s) stands in the river in front of the keeper's house. Bash has a photo, a 2013 closeup and another photo are available, the Coast Guard has a historic photo, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse is a sibling of the Ten Pound Island lighthouse in Massachusetts. The light station has been a private summer residence since it was deactivated. The island and light station were sold in 2002 for $465,000; Lighthouse Digest carried Bill Edwards's feature story on new owner John Urtis. Urtis put the island back on sale in 2011 and it sold in 2013 for $350,000. The current owner is not known. Trabas has Boucher's photo of the modern light. Located near the international boundary in the middle of the St. Lawrence north of Chippewa Bay. Visible from a NY 12 scenic overlook northeast of Chippewa Bay. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-206; Admiralty H2766; CCG 345; USCG 7-1195.
Ogdensburg Harbor (2)
1870 (station established 1834). Reactivated (inactive 1961-2011, now privately maintained); focal plane 70 ft (21 m); white flash every 10 s. 65 ft (20 m) square cylindrical limestone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to 1-1/2 story stone and frame keeper's house. The upper part of the tower (an extension added in 1900) is painted white, while the original lower portion is unpainted gray stone; lantern painted red. A photo is at right, a 2008 photo is available, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view and a very distant street view from the Oswegatchie River Bridge (NY 68). In 1964 the city of Ogdensburg declined to buy the lighthouse at the bargain price of $900, so it was sold instead to Thomas G. Roethel, the city's assistant fire chief. In June 2007 there was a brief flurry of concern when the owner, Blair Roethel (Thomas's son), applied for a permit to demolish the lighthouse. Apparently this was part of an elaborate struggle between Roethel and the city council over taxes and development rules for waterfront property. Instead of demolishing the building, Roethel has restored it. He has also established a Facebook page for the lighthouse and secured permission from the Coast Guard to relight it. The relighting ceremony was held on 8 October 2011. Flooding did some minor damage to the lighthouse in the spring of 2017. Located at Lighthouse Point, 1 Jackson Street, on the St. Lawrence in Ogdensburg. There's a good view from the foot of Riverside Drive on the other (east) side of the Oswegatchie River. Site and tower closed except for approved tours. Owner/site manager: private (Ogdensburg Harbor Lighthouse ). ARLHS USA-562; Admiralty H2732; USCG 7-0992.


Ogdensburg Harbor Light, Ogdensburg, 2013
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by cisko66

Lake Champlain Lighthouses (see also Vermont)

Note: Located on the border between New York and Vermont, Lake Champlain is part of an international waterway connecting the St. Lawrence and Hudson Rivers. The lake drains northward to the St. Lawrence River through the Richelieu River, and it is connected to the Hudson River and Atlantic Ocean by the Champlain Canal.
Clinton County Lighthouses
Point Aux Roches
1858. Inactive since 1989. 50 ft (15 m) octagonal limestone block tower with lantern and gallery. Tower unpainted; lantern painted black. The 1-1/2 story wood keeper's quarters, formerly attached, has been relocated nearby as a private residence. A photo is at right, the Coast Guard has a historic photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. This is an endangered lighthouse. The masonry in the tower deteriorated, leading the Coast Guard to abandon it in 1989. The light was moved to a buoy offshore (USCG 1-39250). The tower remains in Coast Guard ownership. Although the Town of Beekmantown expressed interest in leasing it for preservation, and the Lake Champlain Basin Program granted funds for an engineering study, the tower was sold into private ownership. The town has a web page for the lighthouse. Located on Point Aux Roches Road on the New York shore south of Isle la Motte, Vermont. Site and tower closed; the lighthouse can be seen from the lake and in the winter thorugh trees along the road. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-614.
Cumberland Head (2)
1868 (station established 1838). Reactivated (inactive 1934-2003); focal plane 75 ft (23 m); red flash every 4 s. 50 ft (15 m) round limestone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 2-story limestone keeper's quarters; lantern painted black. A view from the lake is available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The station was abandoned and heavily vandalized when Joseph and Rose Church bought it in 1948; they restored the buildings and lived on the site for nearly 50 years. Lighthouse Digest printed a history of the light station in 1996, when it was for sale. The light was moved back to the tower in March 2003 after being on a skeletal tower nearby for 69 years. Located at the end of Lighthouse Road on the Cumberland Head peninsula east of Plattsburgh. Visible from the Plattsburgh-Grand Isle VT ferry (NY/VT 314). Site and tower closed (private residence). Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-211; USCG 1-39380.
Point aux Roches Light
Point aux Roches Light, Beekmantown
Town of Beekmantown photo
#Cumberland Head (3)
1934. Inactive since 2003 and subsequently demolished. Approx. 60 ft (18 m) square skeletal tower, painted red, with an enclosed equipment shelter in the base. A photo is available. This tower carried the light until it was returned to the historic lighthouse. The tower was removed sometime between May 2012 and September 2014. Located on the lakefront near the historic lighthouse. Site and tower closed (private residence). Owner/site manager: private.
** Bluff Point (Valcour Island) (1)
1874. Reactivated (inactive 1930-2004); focal plane 95 ft (29 m); white flash every 4 s. 35 ft (12 m) octagonal cylindrical frame tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a 2-story limestone and wood Empire-style keeper's house. The light tower and the upper story of the house are covered with red shingles; lower story is unpainted gray stone; lantern and gallery painted white. 300 mm solar-powered lens. Sibling of Barber's Point. Anderson has a fine page for the light station, a fine closeup is available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, the Coast Guard has a historic photo, and Google has a satellite view. In 1930 the active light was moved to a black square pyramidal skeletal tower. Sara Johns's 2008 photo shows this skeletal tower still standing. In 2001 a state grant supported interior repairs to the lighthouse. The light was returned to the lighthouse on 16 November 2004. In September 2014 the parks administration began a long-delayed restoration of the lighthouse, including a new roof, foundation repairs, interior renovation, and asbestos abatement. This project was completed in the summer of 2016. Located at the tip of a peninsula on the west shore of Valcour Island, a tiny part of Adirondack State Park, south of Plattsburgh. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower open Sunday afternoons between July 1 and Labor Day. Owner: New York State Parks. Site manager: Clinton County Historical Association (Bluff Point Lighthouse ). ARLHS USA-065; USCG 1-39470.
* Bluff Point (Valcour Island) (2)
1930. Inactive since 2004. Approx. 80 ft (24 m) square skeletal tower, painted black, mounted on a concrete base. Jim Millard has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. This tower carried the light until it was returned to the historic lighthouse. Located on the lakefront near the historic lighthouse. Site and tower closed (private residence). Owner/site manager: private.

Essex County Lighthouses
Split Rock Point (2)
1867 (station established 1835). Reactivated (inactive 1928-2003); focal plane 93 ft (28 m); white flash every 4 s. 39 ft (12 m) octagonal limestone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house (1899). Tower is unpainted gray stone, lantern painted white with a gray roof. The keeper's house has been a private residence since 1931; it has been expanded and modernized. Ross Andrews's photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. The light was moved to a red square pyramidal skeletal tower in 1928, and the light station was sold; since 1959 it has been owned by the Heurich family. By the turn of the century the skeletal tower was in poor condition, and on 19 March 2003 the Coast Guard returned the light to the lighthouse. David Manthey has a panoramic photo of the light station showing both towers, and J.M. Lodzinski has a photo explaining the name Split Rock: the split in the rock is a short distance north of the lighthouse. Located on Split Rock Point south of Essex. Site and tower closed (private summer residence). Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-784; USCG 1-39810.
Split Rock Point (3)
1928. Inactive since 2003. Approx. 75 ft (23 m) steel skeletal tower, painted red. The tower is seen in David Manthey's panoramic photo, and Google has a satellite view. In March 2014 the Coast Guard announced it would remove the skeletal tower unless someone wanted to take ownership of it. We do not know if the tower is still standing. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard.

Split Rock Light, Essex, July 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Ross Andrews
Barber's Point (1)
1873. Inactive since 1935; charted as a landmark. 36 ft (11 m) octagonal cylindrical wood tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a 2-story limestone and wood Empire-style keeper's house. Light tower and upper story of the house painted white with black trim; lantern roof is black. The modern light is on a skeletal tower (next entry). Sibling of Colchester Reef, Vermont. Robert English has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse was sold in 1936 and has been in private ownership ever since. It's not likely that this lighthouse will ever be reactivated, because it is surrounded now by tall trees. There is a campground, Barber Homestead Park, behind the lighthouse property. Located on Barber Point, at the end of Barber Road off Dudley Road (county road 22G) south of Westport. Site and tower closed (private residence). Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-036.
Barber's Point (3)
Date unknown (station established 1873). Active; focal plane 72 ft (22 m); white flash every 4 s. 68 ft (21 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery. Anderson's page includes a photo of the present light and Google has a satellite view. This modern light replaced the 1935 square pyramidal skeletal tower seen in a Coast Guard photo on Anderson's page. Located at the edge of the lake near the historic lighthouse. Site and tower closed (private residence). Owner/site manager: private. USCG 1-39840.
** Champlain Memorial (Crown Point) (2)
1912 (station established 1859). Inactive since 1926; charted as a landmark. 55 ft (17 m) granite memorial with six columns surrounding an octagonal stone light tower. Mounted on the base of the lighthouse are bronze sculptures of Samuel de Champlain, an American Indian, and a French voyageur. This building replaced an 1858 brick tower. The original 1-1/2 story brick keeper's house, formerly attached, was demolished in 1926. The Library of Congress has a photo of the original lighthouse as it appeared about 1910, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and the Coast Guard has a photo showing the light station as it appeared with the keeper's house from 1912 to 1926. A photo is at right, Catherine New has a 2007 photo, Wikimedia has a photo by Doug Kerr, a photo taken from the lake is available, Ping Chen has a street view, and Google has a satellite view. In June 2004 the state announced funding to restore the lighthouse in time for the 400th anniversary of Champlain's 1609 exploration of the Lake. The restoration began in 2008 and was completed in July 2009; the lighthouse was rededicated in a ceremony on September 18. Located on the point of land just southeast of the Champlain Bridge (NY/VT 17), adjacent to the Crown Point State Historic Site and within the campground of the Crown Point historic area. Site open (entry fee to campground), tower open daily mid May to mid October. Owner/site manager: New York State Parks. ARLHS USA-207.

Champlain Memorial Light, Crown Point, June 2014
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Mark

Oneida Lake Lighthouses

Note: Oneida Lake is the largest lake in interior New York, 21 miles (33 km) in length and about 5 miles (8 km) in width. The original Erie Canal, opened in 1825, bypassed the lake to the south. In 1905, construction began on the New York State Barge Canal, an improved version of the Erie Canal; this expanded waterway crosses the lake lengthwise. Oneida Lake is the only significant open water crossing in the canal's 365 mile (590 km) length. Three lighthouses were built in 1918, the year the expanded canal opened, to guide vessels traversing the lake.
* Hastings (Brewerton Range Rear)
1918. Active; focal plane 92 ft (28 m); continuous green light visible only on the range line. 85 ft (26 m) unpainted round concrete tower with gallery; no lantern. David Cook's Lighthouse Digest article of February 2001 has a photo (it's the second of the two photos in the article), Dennie Orson has a 2007 photo and a 2010 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. In 2004 the town of Hastings began development of the area around the lighthouse as the Hastings Lighthouse Park; plans include a small museum in the base of the tower. In 2009 a parking area and trails were constructed. The range guides vessels as they exit the lake westbound; a Google street view shows the front light mounted on the US 11 bridge about 350 yd (320 m) to the east. Located on the north bank of the Oneida River close to county road 37 just west of US 11 in Brewerton. Site open, tower closed. Owner/operator: New York State Canals. Site manager: Town of Hastings. ARLHS USA-1042; NYSC-147.
Frenchman (Frenchman's) Island
1918. Active; focal plane 123 ft (37.5 m); green flash every 4 s. 105 ft (32 m): 20 ft (6 m) steel skeletal tower mounted atop an 85 ft (26 m) unpainted round concrete tower with gallery; no lantern. Patrick O'Leary has a closeup photo, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Google has Patrcik O'Leary's 2017 street view, but for some reason the lighthouse is not shown in Google's satellite view. The skeletal tower was added in 1949 to assure visibility of the light above the surrounding trees. In 2008 New York State Parks reopened the island to the public; it had been closed for years due to frequent vandalism. Since the park service planned no development other than nature trails, the island was transferred to 2011 to the Department of Environmental Conservation for management as a wildlife preserve. Located atop a knoll at the west end of the island, about 5 miles (8 km) east southeast of Brewerton. Accessible only by boat (a rustic dock is provided). There are distant views from Lower South Bay on Lakeshore Drive off NY 31 on the south side of the lake, but only the very top of the lighthouse can be seen. Site open, tower closed. Owner/operator: New York State Canals. Site manager: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. ARLHS USA-1045; NYSC-131.
* Verona Beach (Sylvan Beach)
1918. Active; focal plane 88 ft (27 m); white flash every 4 s. 85 ft (26 m) round concrete tower with gallery, apinted white and mounted on a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Lighthouse painted white. A photo is at right, Lighthouse Digest has David Cook's February 2001 article on the Oneida Lake lighthouses, Dennie Orson has a 2008 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view and a street view through trees. A support group, the Verona Beach Lighthouse Association, works for preservation of this lighthouse. The group cleared brush from the site, replaced the entry door and several windows, and installed a brighter light. The town has paved the entrance to the station and provided a small parking lot for visitors. Located off Forest Avenue between 3rd Avenue and 5th Avenue, west of NY 13, in Verona Beach. Some care is needed to find the poorly-marked entrance to the lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. Owner/operator: New York State Canals. Site maneger: Verona Beach Lighthouse Association . ARLHS USA-1052; NYSC-105.

Verona Beach Light, Verona
Verona Beach Lighthouse Association photo; used by permission

Cayuga Lake Lighthouses

Note: Cayuga Lake is the longest of the Finger Lakes, a series of roughly parallel glacial lakes in western New York. The lake is about 40 miles (64 km) long and generally less than 2 miles (3 km) wide. At its northern end, the Cayuga-Seneca Canal connects the lake to the New York State Canal.
Cayuga Inlet Range Rear (Glenwood Point)
1927. Active; focal plane 28 ft (8.5 m); flashing red light. 25 ft (7.5 m) square pyramidal steel-clad wooden tower, painted red. Liren Chen's photo is at right, A.E. Conn has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Peter Ozolins has a distant street view, and Google has a satellite view. The front light is on a platform in the lake about 500 yd (450 m) to the north. Located on a detached (and usually submerged) breakwater northwest of the creek entrance; the breakwater shelters the marina of the Allen H. Treman State Marine Park off NY 89 northwest of Ithaca. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/operator: New York State Canals. ARLHS USA-1213; NYSC(Cayuga)-148.
* Cayuga Inlet East (Lighthouse Point)
1917 (relocated from the west bank to the east bank of the creek in 1927). Active; focal plane 28 ft (8.5 m); flashing white light. 25 ft (7.5 m) square pyramidal steel-clad wooden tower, painted white. Mariena Silvestry Ramos has a closeup photo, a 2009 photo is available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Peter Ozolins has a closeup street view, and Google has a satellite view. Mark Anbinder's 2011 photo shows the lighthouse with a troubling lean. Located at the end of the breakwater at Lighthouse Point, the east bank of the creek entrance at the southern end of the lake in Ithaca. Accessible by walking the breakwater after a hike of about 3/4 mile (1.2 km) from the western end of Pier Road. Site open, tower closed. Owner/operator: New York State Canals. ARLHS USA-1043; NYSC(Cayuga)-147.
* Myers Point
1998. Active (privately maintained); focal plane about 40 ft (12 m); yellow flash every 6 s. Approx. 25 ft (7.5 m) round brick tower with lantern, painted white with brown bands at the top and bottom. Built by volunteers as a community project, the light marks a conspicuous point jutting into the lake. Lighthouse Digest has an April 2003 article by Bill Edwards, Mark Anbinder has a good 2008 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Kaz Hattori has a closeup street view, and Google has a satellite view. Located in Myers Park in Lansing, on Myers Road off NY 34B about 10 miles (16 km) north of Ithaca. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Lansing Parks and Recreation Department (Myers Park). ARLHS USA-1216.

Cayuga Inlet West Light
Cayuga Inlet West Light, Ithaca, July 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Liren Chen

Other Inland Lighthouses

Seneca Lake Lighthouse
Note: Largest and deepest of the Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake is about 38 mi (61 km) long; it lies parallel and to the west of Cayuga Lake. Like Cayuga Lake, the Cayuga-Seneca Canal connects the lake to the New York State Canal.
Watkins Glen
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 45 ft (13.5 m ); flashing white light. Approx. 40 ft (12.5 m) square skeletal tower. The light is near the right edge of a photo by Cindi Parrish, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the west end of the detached outer breakwater of Watkins Glen, the town at the south end of the lake. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/operator: unknown.

Otsego Lake Lighthouse
* Cooperstown (Cooperstown Marina)
ca. 1955. Active; focal plane about 45 ft (13.5 m); quick-flashing white light. Approx. 40 ft (12 m) round cylindrical tower with a small lantern and gallery, painted white with a narrow horizontal red band; lantern painted black. The light is actually on a short mast atop the lantern, not in the lantern. Corey Seeman's closeup photo is at right, Katsuyuki Nakabai has a photo, another photo is available, Raymond Czaplewski has a street view, and Google has a satellite view. The source of the Susquehanna River, Otsego Lake is a glacial lake 9 mi (15 km) long, located in the central part of New York. Located at the end of Fair Street in Cooperstown, at the south end of the lake. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Lakefront Motel, Restaurant, and Marina.

Fourth Lake Lighthouse
Shoal Point
1890s. Active; focal plane about 30 ft (9 m); flashing white light. 30 ft (9 m) octagonal wooden (?) tower with wooden lantern. Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse was built at the tip of a prominent headland in Fourth Lake, in the Adirondack Mountains west of Inlet in northern New York. Long neglected, this tower was fully restored in 2000-01 with private donations and a state historical preservation grant of $19,210. Located at the end of Cold Spring Camp Road, off NY 28 about 4 miles (6.5 km) west of Eagle Bay near the western end of the lake. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Fourth Lake Property Owners Association. ARLHS USA-1220.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  • Fair Haven Pier (1872-1943), Lake Ontario, Cayuga County. The "pepperpot" wood lighthouse has been replaced by a pair of breakwater post lights. ARLHS USA-278; USCG 7-2135 and 2140.
  • Fair Haven Range (?-1945?), Lake Ontario, Cayuga County. ARLHS USA-1304.
  • Oswego Inner (1836-1929), Lake Ontario, Oswego County. This was an octagonal stone tower with lantern and gallery on the Oswego waterfront. Huelse has a historic postcard view. Sadly, no trace remains of this historic lighthouse. ARLHS USA-1203.
  • Plattsburgh Breakwater Northeast and Southwest (1867-?), Lake Champlain, Clinton County. Twin "pepperpot" wood lighthouses. The northeast lighthouse has been replaced by a small skeletal tower (ARLHS USA-1121; USCG 1-39420) and the southwest light by a post (ARLHS USA-1123; USCG 1-39415).
  • Seneca Lake (1870-1940s), Geneva, Ontario County. The breakwater on which this small octagonal stone lighthouse stood no longer exists. The lighthouse was replaced by a skeletal tower, but that tower was demolished in 1984. A historic postcard view is available. ARLHS USA-1219.

Cooperstown Light, Cooperstown, July 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Corey Seeman

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Calumet Island (1890s), off Clayton in the Thousand Islands, St. Lawrence River. This tower was built by Charles Emery, a New York tobacco magnate. Although it resembles a lighthouse and is charted as a landmark, it has never been a lighted aid to navigation. Google has a satellite view.
  • Clayton (1961), St. Lawrence River, Jefferson County. Robert English has a 2009 closeup photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This lighthouse was built by the local American Legion post as a memorial for local veterans of all wars. Adjacent buildings block its light from reaching the river, so it is not an aid to navigation.
  • St. Johnsville Marina, on the Mohawk River between Schenectady and Sylvan Beach, has a small faux lighthouse. It is not an aid to navigation.

Adjoining pages: North: Southeastern Ontario | Northeast: Southern Québec | East: Vermont | South: Southeastern New York | West: Western New York

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index

Checked and revised December 25, 2017. Lighthouses: 36. Site copyright 2017 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.