Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2014

From The Archives: Breeches Buoy Drill at Big Sandy


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The exact year that this image was taken of a Breeches Buoy Drill at the Big Sandy Life Saving Station on Lake Ontario is unknown, but we do know that it was taken sometime between 1907 and 1915. The Big Sandy Life Saving Station was originally established in 1876 in Mexico Bay at the mouth of Big Sandy Creek near Port Ontario for the purpose of aiding the big sailing vessels of its day. In those early years, because of the numerous shipwrecks, Mexico Bay was known as “The Graveyard of the Great Lakes.” However, with the disappearance of the big sailing ships, by the 1920s the usefulness of the station had diminished. The government planned to build a new station on Gallop Island. In its January 24, 1935 edition, the Cape Vincent Eagle newspaper reported, “The Big Sandy Life Saving Station continued to exist, but the force was mainly used to handle small boats that came into distress. Someone said that there had been little duty there except to haul autos out that became stuck in the sand along the beach.” In 1915 the Life Saving Service became the U.S. Coast Guard.

This story appeared in the May/Jun 2014 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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