|Braddock Point , NY|
While there are several small lights between Thirty-Mile Point light and Oswego light, there is no light of any importance in this stretch of about 100 miles which can be used by vessels going up or down the lake as a coast light. For some time efforts have been made by navigators to accomplish the establishment of an additional light of such height and brilliancy that it can be used as a point of departure. It is therefore recommended that a third-order light-station be established between Genesee and Oak Orchard light-stations somewhere in the vicinity of Braddock’s Point, at an estimated cost of $20,000.
The above recommendation for the establishment of a significant light along the southern shore of Lake Ontario was originally made by the Lighthouse Board in 1889 and repeated again in 1890 before Congress approved an act on March 3, 1891 appropriating the necessary $20,000. The Attorney General of the United States approved the purchase of a plot of land on Bogus Point, just west of Braddock Bay, and the land was then ceded to the federal government by the State of New York in May of 1892.
A contract for construction of the keeper’s dwelling, tower and a wood shed for Braddock Point was approved on June 25, 1895 and called for the buildings to be completed within nine months. When finished, the octagonal, 110-foot tower was nearly identical to the one at Cleveland, while the residence, though similar in style, was significantly different. The light from the tower’s third-and-a-half-order Fresnel lens was exhibited for the first time on August 17, 1896.
Around the same time as the inaugural lighting, a brick barn was completed, a 5 5/8-inch well was drilled to a depth of 105 feet (93 feet through solid rock), and a square, iron oil house was erected at the station. In 1899, the Fresnel lens, which could be seen over an arc of 180°, was removed and replaced with a 270° lens that could be seen from all points of approach from the lake.
The Annual Report of the Light House Board for 1902 had the following entry for Braddock Point. “To stop leaks in the tower it became necessary to remove and replace the entire lantern, lantern deck, parapet gallery deck and rails, and all connecting ironwork. All the ironwork was cleaned and repainted, and all joints were bedded in cement made of red and white lead. The 3 ˝ order lens light was discontinued while the tower was being repaired, from May 8 to June 30, 1902, during which time a lens-lantern light was exhibited from the northern face of …the tower.”
Perhaps the leaks in the tower persisted for several years, as shortly after the Coast Guard deactivated the Braddock Point Lighthouse on January 1, 1954 and replaced it by a skeletal steel tower, the upper two-thirds of the tower had to be removed due to extensive structural damage. The United States again had lost one of its most ornate lighthouse towers. During the years immediately after the deactivation of the light, duck hunters and other trespassers mistreated the vacant dwelling. Windows were knocked out, exposing the interior to the weather, and soon the structure was knee-deep in plaster and broken glass.
In February of 1986, Robert and Barbara Thulin purchased the lighthouse property and, after two years of planning, initiated what turned into an eight-year renovation. Structural walls, pocket doors, wainscoting, and moldings were all replaced to return the lighthouse to its former grandeur. In 1995, the tower was rebuilt to a height of sixty-five feet, and after receiving the Coast Guard’s approval the lighthouse was relit on February 28, 1996.
In 2006, the 3,000-square-foot, furnished home along with the tower, an 1,800-square-foot carriage house, and a six-car garage were placed on the market for $1.9 million. A few months later, the selling price was reduced to $1.5 million. The desirable property, which would make a great residence, summer home, or even a bed and breakfast, was eventually purchased by Donald and Nandy Town in December of 2008. The new owners, who grew up in upstate New York and spent their summers on Lake Ontario, run a bed and breakfast in Florida and opened the keeper's dwelling as Braddock Point Bed & Breakfast in 2010. As Don ran across the listing for the property on June 14th, 2008, the couple's wedding anniversary, he feels they were meant to be the new owners of the lighthouse.
Located on the shore of Lake Ontario roughly 10 miles west of the Charlotte-Genesee
Lighthouse. The lighthouse is privately owned. Grounds/dwelling/tower closed.
The lighthouse is privately owned. Grounds/dwelling/tower closed.
Pictures on this page copyright Kraig Anderson, Terri Granger, used by permission.