On June 11, 2005, a little less than seven months after a Coast Guard crew restored a working light to the Bluff Point Lighthouse on the New York side of Lake Champlain, a crowd gathered in sweltering heat to celebrate the 1874 structure’s rebirth.
A replica of a 19th-century double-ended sailing ferry, Weatherwax, brought the attendees to Valcour Island. Clinton County Historical Association (CCHA) staff showed the visitors around and provided information. The association held the celebration along with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
“What a wonderful celebration it was!” says Yvonne Zemotel, a lighthouse buff from New Hampshire. “Roger Harwood and the others from the Historical Association did a terrific job of planning and executing the day. Of course, it was close to 100 degrees but that only added to our appreciation of the ride on the Weatherwax.”
Bluff Point’s active light had been relocated to a skeleton tower back in 1930. The Clinton County Historical Association now has a conservation easement to maintain the lighthouse, which is owned by the state of New York. Volunteers, led by Linda Harwood, have completed extensive renovation in recent years. Much of this work was detailed in the February 2005 edition of Lighthouse Digest (“An Old Light Shines Like New on Lake Champlain”).
At the celebration, DEC Deputy Commissioner Lynette Stark said, “The department is proud to be a part of this collaborative effort to make the Bluff Point Lighthouse operational once again. The historic lighthouse now serves its original purpose – a navigational aid for boaters on Lake Champlain – as well as functioning as an interpretive center and acting as an attraction to those on water and land.”
Roger Harwood of the CCHA added, “Once again, the Bluff Point Lighthouse on Valcour Island is a beacon for Lake Champlain and the North Country. It is also a shining example of the efforts of a group of very dedicated volunteers who worked to restore and interpret the lighthouse.”
The Lighthouse Committee of the CCHA is opening the lighthouse to the public every Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. this summer until September 4. You can get more information about visiting the lighthouse or volunteering by contacting the Clinton County Historical Association at (518) 561-0340.
On the web, you can visit www.clintoncountyhistorical.org
/lighthouse.html for more on the Clinton County Historical Association and the lighthouse, and see www.cvtmuseum.com for more on the Weatherwax.
This story appeared in the
August 2005 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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