The historic 36-foot high lighthouse on Valcour Island in Lake Champlain has recently undergone a $280,000+ restoration. It’s now a museum as well as a functioning lighthouse, and you can visit this special attraction before the summer is over!
Photo provided by Roger Harwood
The Bluff Point Lighthouse dates back to 1874 and was revamped this summer. The project was funded by New York State and included the following improvements:
- Replacement of gallery walkway deck and walkway door
- Replaced or restored fascia, soffits, and decorative moldings
- Rebuilt gutters and replaced downspouts
- Rebuilt chimney
- Replaced basement entrance and window covers
- Painted or washed all exterior surfaces
- Replaced roof
- New exhibits were added and old exhibits were upgraded
The main element of the lighthouse, the beacon light, had already been reinstalled and working as of 2005; prior to that, it hadn’t shone for almost 60 years. Now, it’s both a working lighthouse and an aesthetic beauty.
“The active lighthouse not only serves to assist in navigation on Lake Champlain, it provides a beautiful attraction for the public to view and visit,” DEC Regional Director Robert Stegmann said in a statement. “The work done will also serve to protect the lighthouse from the elements for a long time.”
The roof was the main priority in the restorations: “The roof had leaked for many years, it was the original roof,” Roger Harwood of the Clinton County Historical Association told My Champlain Valley. “Before we replaced it, there was a lot of water damage.”
The restoration of Bluff Point Lighthouse was a collaboration between the state, CCHA, and the DEC; the state owns the lighthouse, CCHA owns a deeded right to manage and maintain the lighthouse, and the DEC manages Valcour Island, as it’s a part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
CCHA volunteers spent over six weeks on the lighthouse repairs and improvements. According to Harwood, the venture has been a long time coming.
“I got involved almost 20 years ago,” he told My Champlain Valley. “I saw it here, abandoned, broken windows. The state had purchased it, and I decided that something had to be done.”
The Bluff Point Lighthouse is still open at no charge for the last two Sundays in August – so get out there while you still can! You do need a boat to reach Valcour Island. For more information on visiting this historical attraction, call the CCHA at 518.561.0340.
- My Champlain Valley: Bluff Point Lighthouse Restored to Former Glory