Cumberland Head Light, Lake Champlain's Cumberland Bay, New York
CUMBERLAND HEAD LIGHT (OLD)
Location: CUMBERLAND BAY, LAKE CHAMPLAIN, NEAR PLATTSBURG, NEW YORK
Station Established: 1838
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1868
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE/LIMESTONE
Construction Materials: LIMESTONE
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1856
- The original Cumberland Head Lighthouse was built on the spot of a historic battle in the War of 1812. It was built in 1838 and housed eleven lamps with reflectors. The lamps were replaced 1856 with a fourth order Fresnel lens.
- In 1867, the tower was taken down. The materials were then transported a short distance and reassembled. The tower now stood at 50 feet and housed the original Fresnel lens. It was attached to a gothic style keeper’s dwelling. It was lit on November 1, 1868.
- A skeletal tower was built in 1934 to replace the lighthouse and the limestone tower was deactivated. In 1948 a couple moved into the keeper’s quarters and restored it. They maintained the lighthouse for 50 years. The property was sold again to a private owner.
- The lens was returned to the tower in 2003 and once again, it became an active aid to navigation. The tower was incorporated into Plattsburg’s official seal in 1984.
Researched and written by Melissa Buckler-Smith, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.