Somerset in Niagara County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
30 Mile Point Lighthouse
This third-order fresnel lens magnified a simple lard oil or kerosene flame bright enough that it could be seen up to 16 miles away on a clear night. The one-ton lens stood six feet tall. A system of counterweights and cables, much like those in a grandfather clock, slowly rotated the lens, making the light flash periodically.
In the early 1930s, municipal electricity was extended to 30-Mile Point. The tower's kerosene burner was replaced by a 500-watt lightbulb pictured here. The frenel lens continued to magnify the light.
Lighthouse keeper Glenn Seeley stands on the porch in his keeper's uniform ca. 1903. The keeper's most important duty was ensuring that the light remained lit. The keeper and his assistant alternated 24-hour shifts, checking the light every three hours and making a weather log every four hours. Other duties included
30-Mile Point is the northernmost point of Lake Ontario's south shore, making it an important landmark when navigating the lake. All lighthouses had a characteristic that allowed seaman to identify them. The characteristic included the light's color, the frequency on its flash if it has one, and any fog signal that the lighthouse might have. Map modified from a larger map of the 10th Lighthouse District, in the 1894 Annual Report of the Light-House Board Annual Report. Courtesy of the New York State Library.
30-Mile Point lighthouse as it appeared from the lake in 1986. Photograph by Lorraine Wayner, Town of Somerset Historian.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway marker series.
Location. 43° 22.49′ N, 78° 29.165′ W. Marker is in Somerset, New York, in Niagara County. Click for map. Marker is located next to the front entrance to the lighthouse, which is within Golden Hill State Park, address 9691 Lower Lake Road, Barker, NY 14012. Look for the small lighthouse and park signs beginning on NY Route 18. Marker is in this post office area: Barker NY 14012, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are Foghorn, Pier, and Beacon Tower (within shouting distance of this marker); Salt Spring (approx. 3.6 miles away); In Honor of Those Who Served (approx. 4.2 miles away); Jacob Fitts (approx. 4.3 miles away); Pallister House (approx. 4.6 miles away); David Barker (approx. 4.7 miles away); Quaker Cemetary (approx. 4.8 miles away); Yates Academy (approx. 5.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Somerset.
Regarding 30 Mile Point Lighthouse. Text of Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse - Lighthouse Architecture Marker, adjacent to the parking lot at the lighthouse:
From a simple, even austere beginning, lighthouse architecture peaked in grand style while under control of the Lighthouse Service. A number of changes were made to 30-Mile Point Lighthouse before the Coast Guard assumed control.
Globe Vent Ball with Pedestal and Lightening Spike.
Standing Seam Copper Roof.
3rd Order Fresnel Lens.
Ornate Iron Rails.
Patterned Steel Plate Deck and Steel Armored Barrel.
Cut Stone Facing with Quioned Corners. Limestone Shipped from Chaumont.
Decorative Cast Iron Steps and Rail. Cast in Sections and Bolted Together.
Keeper's Quarters Designed in High Victorian Gothic Style.
Original Architectural Detailing
Changes made by the Lighhouse Service
• Cut stone summer kitchen replaced by brick, two-story addition.
• Decorative panels and trim removed from gables.
• Ornate chimney caps and finials removed.
1984 Lighthouse Turned Over to NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
1939 Coast Guard assumes ownership.
1934 Fog Horn Built. Keeper's Quarters Enlarged.
1931 Kerosene Lamp Replaced By 500 Watt Electric Lamp.
1875 Lighthouse Built.
1852 Lighhouse Board Established. Upgrading Begun.
1789 Lighthouses Became Federal Responsibility.
1781 First Light on the Great Lakes at the Mouth of the Niagara River.
Seaway Trail, Inc. Corner of Ray and West Main Streets, Sackets Harbor, NY 1-800-SEAWAY-T. This exhibit made possible by a FHWA Grant to Seaway Trails, Inc. Produced by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Text of Lighthouse Buildings Marker: The first buildings associated with 30-Mile Point Lighthouse were a carriage barn and an outhouse. Over the years, other buildings were added to the property, reflecting important changes in the lighthouse's operation.
The original carriage ban, shown in this ca. 1898 photograph, was located directly east of the lighthouse. The present barn was built in 1904. These
Note the large garden in this 1907 photograph of the lighthouse. Because of their relative isolation, the light keepers families grew much of their own food. Photograph courtesy of the Town of Somerset Historian's Office.
Note the outhouse picture in the foreground of this ca. 1945 photograph, located precariously close to the embankment. The outhouse was moved in the early 1950s to save it from an eroding shoreline. Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office.
In 1881, the Lighthouse Service replaced the lard oil lamp at 30-Mile Point with one that burned mineral oil (kerosene). Ten years later, the Lighthouse Service installed the first two round, iron oil houses so that this more flammable oil could be stored away from the lighthouse. A second oil house was delivered sometime after 1900. the earlier oilhouse was moved to its present location east of the lighthouse to serve as a well house. The oil houses in this photograph are typical of those installed at many of the nation's lighthouses in the 1890s. Photograph courtesy of the Town
In 1789, the Lighthouse Service built a woodshed east of the lighthouse. It was replaced with the existing woodshed in 1905. The shed was adapted to store coal for the lighthouse's furnace, which was installed in 1924. Each family living at the lighthouse was allotted 8 tons of coal per year. At times, this shed also served as a workshop. Photograph courtesy of the Town of Somerset Historian's Office.
Also see . . .
1. New York State Parks - Golden Hill. Includes information and a link to reserve a stay in the lighthouse cottage. (Submitted on May 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. Friends of 30-Mile Point Lighthouse. (Submitted on May 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
3. Town of Somerset. (Submitted on May 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
4. Great Lakes Seaway Trail. Tourist information for the U.S. shoreline from the St. Lawrence River (Masena, NY) to Northwest Pennsylvania, marking the way by signs and contributing markers, and including the lighthouses. (Submitted on May 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
5. United States Lighthouse Service - Wikipedia. (Submitted on May 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
6. US Stamp Gallery - 30-Mile Point Lighthouse. Image of the (Submitted on May 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
Categories. • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 216 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.