The foundation of the site of the first 1826 Dunkirk Lighthouse in Port Gratiot, New York has been uncovered.
Erosion is always a problem in any coastal area. However, in this particular case, it was a help in rediscovering a slice of lost architectural history. At first, only a small portion of the foundation was exposed, leaving the folks at the Dunkirk Lighthouse Veterans Park Museum to believe what had been uncovered might have been part of a well or cistern. However, as soon as more exploration took place, it was immediately realized that this was a find of significant historical proportion.
The tower at Dunkirk Lighthouse was originally round, but was later changed to a square tower when bricks were put around it. This tower was later taken down when the site of the tower was moved to its current location.
In 1838 the Dunkirk Lighthouse was discontinued in favor of a pier lighthouse, a decision that was later reversed. Over the years, several structures served as pier lighthouses at Dunkirk and images of those lost lighthouses can be found in the book, Ghost Lights of Lake Erie. (Foundation photographs by David Briska)
This story appeared in the
September 2010 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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