Braddock Point Light

July 10, 2019

Braddock Point Light, west of Braddock Bay at Bogus Point on Lake Ontario, New York


Station Established: 1896
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1896
Operational? NO
Automated? YES 1954
Deactivated: 1954
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: BRICK
Markings/Pattern: RED
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED

Historical Information:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Jared A. Smith used the Cleveland Lighthouse built in 1871 and considered by many to be one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the United States, as the basis for his plans for the Braddock Point Lighthouse. Perhaps this was because the Cleveland Lighthouse, rendered unnecessary by harbor lights, was scheduled to be torn down in 1895, making the tower’s lens, lantern room, and decorative metalwork available for use elsewhere. Both of these towers and dwellings were built in the Victorian era and definitely showed signs of the then popular architectural style.
  •  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 red brick 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.
  •  By 1902 in order 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 ½ 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. 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.
  • The dwelling, 30-foot tower, 4.7 acres of land, 1,200 feet of lakefront, and the carriage house were sold to Walter and Kay Stone 1957.
  • In 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 in 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.
  • In 2008, the was purchased by Donald and Nandy Town, 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.

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