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Fair Haven Lighthouse

1871 – For erection of a pier light-house and dwelling for keeper at Fair Haven, New York, March 3, 1871, $9,900.

1871 – Fair Haven, New York, Little Sodus Bay.— An appropriation was made March 3,1871, for the erection of a pier, Light-house, and dwelling for the keeper at this station. The station was visited May 26,1871, when it was decided to mark the approach to the harbor by a frame beacon to be established on the pier on the west side of the channel, and a suitable site for the keeper's dwelling was accordingly purchased. As soon as the necessary papers vesting title in the United States shall have been submitted and approved by the Attorney General, proposals will be publicly invited for the construction of a frame dwelling for the keeper. The Light will be of the fourth order, fixed, white, in a frame tower, provided with hauling apparatus for pier-head Light. The focal plane of the Light will be forty feet above the pier.

1872 – Fair Haven, Little Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, New York—An appropriation was made, March 3,1871, for the erection of a pier, light-house, and dwelling at this station. In May, 1871, a lot of four acres, the smallest which could be obtained, was purchased on the west bank, as the site for the keeper's dwelling. No work was done during the working season on account of the delay of the seller in presenting warrantee deed for the light-house lot for examination. Finally, in May, 1872, the title-papers were presented, but not proving acceptable to the United States district attorney they were returned. Having determined early in the spring to build the frame beacon, irrespective of the dwelling, sealed proposals were publicly invited for the necessary materials. No bids were offered. The materials were accordingly purchased in open market at Oswego, New York, and framing done there by days' labor. The beacon was shipped from Oswego in May, 1872, erected on the west pier, and the light exhibited June 10, 1872. The apparatus is a Fresnel lens of the fourth order, arc 270°, showing a fixed white light. The height of focal-plane above the lake-level is 34 feet. Should the Board not be able to obtain title to the lot selected, another will be purchased on the opposite side of the bay upon which to erect the keeper's dwelling.

1873 -405. Fair Haven, Little Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, New York.—A title for the four acre lot, mentioned in last annual report, was obtained in November, 1872, and sealed proposals for building the keeper’s dwelling were publicly invited December 23,1872. A contract was entered into February 13, 1873, and work was commenced in the middle of March. An elevated walk was built from the beach to the beacon.

1874 – Fair Haven, Little Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, New York.—The dwelling built under contract was completed and accepted in July, 1873, and occupied in August.

1880 – Fair Haven, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, New York.—The elevated walk was entirely rebuilt. The boat-house was moved to a more secure position. A picket fence was built about the dwelling, and the whole station was put in good repair.

1881 – Fair Haven, on crib at outer end of west pier, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, New York.—The roadway was graded, boathouse repaired, walls of dwelling kalsomined, beacon painted inside and out, drain from cellar dug, fence painted, iron sink and pump furnished, and other minor repairs made. This station is now in good order.

1882 – Fair Haven, on crib at end of west pier, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, New York.—The beacon was moved out 240 feet, and the elevated walk was extended for the same distance. The beacon was painted and provided with a new smoke-pipe. Minor repairs were made to the walk shoreward. The foundation of the boat-house and the ways were rebuilt and various other minor repairs were made.

1883 – Fair Haven, on end of West Pier, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, New York.—The shore end of the elevated walk was repaired, and 240 feet of walk left unfinished last fall were completed. The kitchen-chimney and the foundation of the veranda were rebuilt, and certain minor repairs were made. The bluff on which the keeper's dwelling is situated has been caving in for some years. Arrangements have been made to protect this site. The west pier will be extended 270 feet this fall, when it will be necessary to move the beacon out to the end of the extension.

1884 – Fair Haven, on end of west pier, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, New York.—The beacon was moved to the outer end of the pier, a distance of 266 feet, and the elevated walk extended to it. During the year 361 feet of elevated walk were rebuilt and 380 feet repaired. A resurvey of the site was made, and monuments locating the reservation and right of way were planted. Steps were taken towards procuring a new deed of the site and right of way, in accordance with the correct survey, and the papers are now in the hands of the United States attorney. The fence inclosing the reservation was reset and placed according to the recent correct survey, and various minor repairs were made. On account of the encroachment of the sea on the north side of the reservation, a timber crib-work revetment 500 feet in length, 15 feet in depth, and 4 to 5 feet in height was constructed and filled with stone. The crib-work rests on brush, and the face of the crib is protected by 120 oak piles.

1884 – Fair Haven range light, on inner end of west pier, Lake Ontario, New York.—A substantial post-light 14 ½ feet high was erected to mark the inner end of the west pier. It was provided with a landing 40 inches square 10 feet above the deck of the pier, and connected by steps and hand-rail with the elevated walk.

1885 – Fair Haven, west pier, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, New York.—A new deed of the right of way, drawn in accordance with the metes and bounds indicated by corrected survey, was obtained; 15 rods of board fence, inclosing part of the site, were rebuilt, and minor repairs were made.

1886 – Fair Haven, Lake Ontario, New York.—The light was moved near the outer end of the pier September 22, 1885.

1886 – Fair Haven, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, New York.—The beacon was moved outward 200 feet and to within 27 feet of the outer end of the west pier, and the elevated walk was extended to the same point. The elevated walk shoreward was repaired in places, and minor repairs were made to the dwelling, well, pump, and boatways.

1888 – Fair Haven, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, New York.—The Board has ordered that a fog-signal consisting of a bell struck by machinery be established at this station.

1889 – Fair Haven Range, Little Sodus Bay, New York.—A small house for the use of the keeper to enable him to trim his lamps, etc., 4 feet square and 6 feet in height, with proper shelving, was erected on posts with a door opening upon the elevated walk abreast of the mast-light. A shelf was constructed under the arm projecting from the mast as a rest for the lamp and to prevent it from swinging to and fro.

1889 – Fair Haven, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, New York.—A fog-signal was established at this station, November 19,1888, consisting of a bell weighing 1,034 pounds and a Stevens fog-bell striking apparatus. The bell was suspended from the second story of the north face of the beacon, the striking machinery was placed in the second story, and the weights passed through the floor in the southeast corner of the building. In order to accommodate the machinery of the striking apparatus placed on the east side in the second story of the beacon, the stairs leading into the lantern were placed on the south side, and the conveniences for storing supplies were taken out, and suitable lockers, cupboard, and shelves were constructed in the space under the stairs of the first floor for storing oil, etc., and various repairs were made to the beacon. A vessel collided with the beacon and inflicted some damage. After the repairs were made and paid for, the owner of the vessel repaid the amount, which was covered into the United States Treasury.

1889 – Fair Haven, Lake Ontario, New York.—A bell struck by machinery, November 26, 1888.

1891 – Fair Haven, entrance to Little Sodus Bay. Lake Ontario, New York.—Contract was made for furnishing the material and labor necessary for rebuilding 720 feet of the elevated walk on the west pier. Some 150 feet, not continuous, of the outer end of the elevated walk was repaired. For this purpose the good material saved from the portion of the walk rebuilt was used. Various repairs were made.

1892 – Fair Haven, Lake Ontario, New York.—Some 110 feet of elevated walk and about 240 feet of division fence were rebuilt. Various repairs were made.

1893 – Fair Haven, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, New York.—The west pier and elevated walk were injured by the Lady McDonald, a vessel which attempted to enter Little Sodus Bay on July 10, 1892. She struck the west side of the pier and grounded about 500 feet from the beacon. Slight repairs were made to the barn.

1893 – Fair Haven, Little Sodus Bay, New York.—The tubular lantern was replaced by a lantern without tubes. Repairs were made to the elevated walk and inner range light.

1894 – Fair Haven, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, New York:— Some 230 running feet of elevated walk was rebuilt, and about 200 running feet of floor was relaid with plank. Some 260 running feet of board fence, 5 feet high, on the south side of the reservation, was rebuilt. Minor repairs were made.

1895 – Fair Haven, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, New York.—The old part of the dwelling, containing the kitchen and dining room, was taken down and rebuilt, with a porch upon foundations laid up in cement mortar from 5 feet below the surface of the ground. Various other repairs were made.

1896 – Fair Haven, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario,New York.—The inner light of the range on the west pier was formerly supported upon an open framework, which left the lens lantern exposed, This was replaced by a substantial wooden beacon, with lantern to protect the lens, and with a room for trimming the light and storing the supplies. Minor repairs were made.

1898 – Fairhaven, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, New York.—Some 270 feet of old board fence was replaced with a wire fence. The boathouse was moved nearer the water and repaired. Some 450 feet of elevated walk on the west pier, and the plank walk from the light-house lot to the inner pier, were rebuilt.

1901 - 64-65. Fair Haven, entrance to Little Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, New York.—Four concrete piers were built under the Outer Pierhead beacon. Minor repairs were made.

1901 – Fog-bells operated by clockwork are in use at the following-named stations: Oswego breakwater; Fairhaven range, front; Genesee range, front; Buffalo breakwater, north end. New York; Presqu'ile pierhead, Pennsylvania, and at Cleveland, west breakwater, east end, Ohio. They are in good condition. At Genesee range, front, Buffalo breakwater, north end, and Cleveland, west breakwater, east end, the bells are used only when the steam whistles are temporarily disabled or until steam can be raised in the fog-signal boilers when a fog comes on unexpectedly. A bell is struck by hand on the Bar Point Shoal light-vessel, No. 59, when the steam whistle is temporarily disabled.

1934 – On May 21, 1934 Fair Haven Range Rear Light was changed to fixed red, to avoid confliction with shore lights. A skeletal tower was erected to display the automated light.

1943 – Fair Haven Outer Light was changed from fixed white flashing to flashing white and the fog bell discontinued.

1949 – Fairhaven Outer Light (LL 142) was electrified and candlepower increased to 200.

Keepers:

  • Head: Andrew R. Crosier (1872 – 1887), Theodore Vought (1887 – 1908), Michael A. Fitzpatrick (1908 – 1929), Ralph H.B. Scobie (1929 – 1941), Osgar K. Elmer (1941 – 1943).
  • Assistant: Floyd C. Vought (1907), Edwin Hutchinson (1908), Clarance I. Swallia (1908 – 1909), H. W. Crapo (1909), Henry M. Comstock (1910).

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