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Bluff Point Lighthouse
Valcour Island on Lake Champlain

By James P. Millard

Towering some 95' above the western shore of Valcour Island, the Bluff Point Lighthouse is a distinctive and beautiful feature of historic Lake Champlain. Photo by the author.

Situated high on a promontory on the western side of Valcour Island is the Bluff Click for mapPoint Lighthouse. A visit to this beautiful structure, currently maintained by the Clinton County Historical Association, should be a highlight of anyone's trip to Lake Champlain.
(click for map)
Placed in service in 1874, the Bluff Point Light was one of the last lighthouses to be manned on the lake. It guided ships through the narrow passageway between the island and the New York shore for almost 60 years. Its fifth-order Fresnel lens was seen each evening from 1874 until 1930 when a steel tower was erected just south of the structure.
The base of the lighthouse is constructed of blue limestone, a popular construction material found in many historic buildings on Lake Champlain. The attractive design features an octagonal tower atop a red-shingled mansard roof.
In recent years the U.S. Coast Guard has been negotiating with lighthouse owners to return the lights to the structures. This exciting event has actually taken place at several Lake Champlain lighthouses, among them Cumberland Head and Windmill Point. Bluff Point was put back in service on November 16, 2004.

The Bluff Point Lighthouse at Valcour Island. This stunning photo was contributed by Claudia Hornby of Plattsburgh, NY. Click on the image to see a large-size photo.

Images of the Bluff Point Lighthouse

The photos below are are thumbnails pointing
to a much larger image.

Bluff Point Lighthouse, Valcour Island
Photo courtesy of Claudia Hornby *
(click on the image to see a full-size photo)



The interior of this historic structure is undergoing a dramatic renewal. A dedicated group of volunteers have been working on the lighthouse fairly regularly. Some of the fruits of their labors can be seen above. All photos by the author.

Tower views

Left and above:
views from tower

More Images from Guest Contributors
winter   winter   winter
These three photos were taken in February 2001
by Roger and Linda Harwood. 

Related pages on the Site...


The Valcour Bay Research Project on the Web
Follow the progress of an actual underwater archeological survey in beautiful and historic Valcour Bay!

The Story of Valcour Island, Lake Champlain

The Battle of Lake Champlain (Introduction)

The Battle of Valcour on Lake Champlain

Orders of Battle- the forces involved

Arnold's Bay- Panton, Vermont

A tale of two ships: The Continental Gunboat Philadelphia

Lieut. James Hadden's Account of the Battle of Lake Champlain:
An eyewitness account of the extraordinary events on Lake Champlain between October 11-13, 1776


**America's Historic Lakes would like to acknowledge its grateful appreciation to Roger and Linda Harwood, of Plattsburgh, New York for their assistance in the preparation of this page. We also want to express our appreciation to Claudia Hornby for her contribution of the photo of the Bluff Point Lighthouse.

*America's Historic Lakes is a favorite of educators around the world. You can feel confident that the material
on this site is accurate, well-researched, properly cited and presented.

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James P. Millard
Post Office Box 262
South Hero, Vermont 05486-0262

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