This tower was built in 1875 and derives its name by the distance to the mouth of the Mighty Niagara River; exactly thirty miles east. It was built to mark an off shore sand bar which has taken down many ships. One of the most famous was the H.M.S. Ontario. It was carrying British Troops, a big cannon and a $15,000 Army payroll when it sunk during a blizzard in 1780. Eighty-eight lives were lost including a retired commander of Fort Niagara.
The U.S. Coast Guard took ownership of it in 1935. However, the light was pulled from active duty in 1958 when the off shore sandbar was completely eroded away. A steel skeleton light now assumes the duty of the lighthouse which sits just west of the light. When I was there at dusk, the light was closed, however, the lighthouse is now a museum and is normally open to the public. I don't regret being there too late to tour the lighthouse, the sunsets on Lake Ontario more than make up for it.
Is the lighthouse haunted?
The lighthouse stands on the grounds of Golden Hill State Park. The park rents the attached three bedroom cottage off of the lighthouse for overnight stays. Numerous visitors have reported seeing different people, some even dressed like a lighthouse keeper, and having weird things happen to them. Weird things such as TVs turning on by themselves, strange noises, etc. A TV crew from Rochester brought a clairvoyant to the lighthouse who spent several hours there. She reported the presence of over 20 different ghosts! Is it really haunted? There is only way to know for sure...book an overnight stay.
Directions: The lighthouse sits on the grounds of Golden Hill State Park. From Route 18 in the Town of Somerset, take Route 131 north (Carmen Road), then right onto Lower Lake Road. Watch for the campsite entrance to the park and enter there. There will mostly likely be a day use fee for the park.
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