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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Somerset in Niagara County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

30 Mile Point Lighthouse

 
 
30 Mile Point Lighthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 19, 2014
1. 30 Mile Point Lighthouse Marker
Inscription. 30-Mile Point Lighthouse was built in 1875 and was lit for the first time on April 27, 1876. The lighthouse was built to protect ships on Lake Ontario from a shallow sandbar the extended from 30-Mile Point. A number of historic shipwrecks occurred not far from here before the lighthouse was constructed. The United States Lighthouse Service operated the lighthouse until July 1, 1939, when the United States Coast Guard took over the administration of America's lighthouses.

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
Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse Architecture Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 19, 2014
2. Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse Architecture Marker
Adjacent to the parking lot for the lighthouse. Marker is significantly more horizontal than vertical, making it difficult to fully capture by camera.
winding the lens's clockwork mechanism, filing the oil reservoir, trimming the light's wick, and polishing the lens.

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. Touch 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
Lighthouse Buildings Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 19, 2014
3. Lighthouse Buildings Marker
Located a few steps east of the main marker.
within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 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 Pier (approx. 4.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map 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.

Design Features:
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.
Iron Cornice.
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
Northeastward View 30 Mile Point Lighthouse and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, April 6, 2014
4. Northeastward View 30 Mile Point Lighthouse and Marker
Main Marker is at the front entrance. Architecture Marker is at the parking lot/roadway edge.
Shown in this 1915 Photo.

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.

Lighthouse Timeline:
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
Northward View 30 Mile Point Lighthouse and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, April 6, 2014
5. Northward View 30 Mile Point Lighthouse and Marker
barns had stalls for the light keepers' horses and housed their sleighs and carriages, which were an important link to the town of Somerset and the world beyond. The wooden fence was installed in 1893. Photograph courtesy of Gambles Open Door Antique Shop and the Town of Somerset Historian's Office.

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
Northwestward View 30 Mile Point Lighthouse and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, April 6, 2014
6. Northwestward View 30 Mile Point Lighthouse and Marker
of Somerset Historian's Office.

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
Eastward View 30 Mile Point Lighthouse and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, April 6, 2014
7. Eastward View 30 Mile Point Lighthouse and Marker
1995 32 cent U.S. postage stamp depicting the 30-Mile Point lighthouse (Submitted on May 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.) 
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
Westward View 30 Mile Point Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, April 6, 2014
8. Westward View 30 Mile Point Lighthouse
The Fog Horn, Pier and Beacon Tower Marker is near the picnic table. The back of the Lighthouse Buildings Marker is behind the tree trunk.
Shore West Sides 30 Mile Point Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 19, 2014
9. Shore West Sides 30 Mile Point Lighthouse
30 Mile Point Lighthouse Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, April 6, 2014
10. 30 Mile Point Lighthouse Entrance
30 Mile Point Lighthouse Front Door image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 19, 2014
11. 30 Mile Point Lighthouse Front Door
30 Mile Point Lighthouse Tours Sign image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 19, 2014
12. 30 Mile Point Lighthouse Tours Sign
30 Mile Point Lighthouse Outbuildings image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 19, 2014
13. 30 Mile Point Lighthouse Outbuildings
East of the lighthouse along the shoreline.
Golden Hill State Park Entance Sign image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, April 6, 2014
14. Golden Hill State Park Entance Sign
From the west. Sign is on Lower Lake Road. The admission booth (entrance fee) may be manned in season during certain hours.
Golden Hill State Park Entance Sign image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 19, 2014
15. Golden Hill State Park Entance Sign
30 Mile Point Lighthouse Bookmark Timeline Front image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller
16. 30 Mile Point Lighthouse Bookmark Timeline Front
Dated 2003
30 Mile Point Lighthouse Timeline Bookmark Back image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller
17. 30 Mile Point Lighthouse Timeline Bookmark Back
Created by the Friends of 30-Mile Point Lighthouse, 2003
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 226 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. submitted on May 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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