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Barber's Point Light (NY)

Nov. 12, 2019
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Barber's Point Light, Lake Champlain, New York

BARBER'S POINT LIGHT (OLD)

Location: Barber's Point, Lake Champlain, New York
Station Authorized: 1870
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1873
Operational:
Automated: 1935
Deactivated:
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials:
Tower Shape: 
Markings/Pattern: 
Relationship to Other Structure:
Original Lens: Fifth-Order Fresnel

Historical Information:

  •  Barber’s Point is roughly midway between Split Rock Point to the north and Crown Point to the south. This stretch of 125-mile-long Lake Champlain is quite narrow, averaging only two miles in width. Barber’s Point was thus a logical place for a ferry, and records indicate that Hezekiah Barber operated one that crossed Lake Champlain between Barber’s Point, NY and Arnold Bay (Panton), VT. The geography at Barber’s Point also made it a prime candidate for a lighthouse.
  • 1868: the Lighthouse Board petitioned Congress for the necessary funds. A sum of $15,000 was finally allocated on July 15, 1870.
  • 1872: Construction began after delays due to but due to difficulties in securing a valid title for the desired parcel. The Second Empire design used for the Colchester Reef Light (as well as others in the area) was reused, but executed in blue limestone rather than the more usual granite. Because of the light's isolation the keeper was provided with a barn in which to keep a horse to procure supplies for his family. Work on the lighthouse, a two-story structure with a Mansard roof and an integrated 36-foot tower, continued through the end of this year.
  • 1873: The light made its debut at the opening of navigation on Lake Champlain. The lower story of Barber’s Point Lighthouse is faced with blue limestone blocks and originally had a brown-shingled roof. A fifth-order Fresnel lens, with a focal plane of eighty-three feet above the lake, beamed a fixed white light, which was visible for 14-¾ miles.
  • 1935: The Barber’s Point Lighthouse was replaced by a steel skeletal tower, topped with an automatic light. The lighthouse and surrounding property were sold in 1936 and have been used as a private residence ever since. The brown-shingled roof has now been repainted a striking white with black trim. A small addition has been added to the rear of the lighthouse, and a wooden garage stands near the road. The lighthouse is included in the Camp Dudley National Historic District, just south of Westport, New York.

Researched and written by Andy Gray, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.