The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Cape Vincent NY’

1000 Islands Vacation Day 3: Tippetts Point Lighthouse

On Day 3 (Tuesday, June 21) of our 1000 Island Vacation we visited places south of our home port of Alexandria Bay, NY. So far I have shared blog posts about Rock Island Lighthouse, Wellesley Island State Park, and Clayton, NY.  Today’s blog post, which completes our Day 3 activities, is about our visit to the Tippetts Point Lighthouse.

When we departed Clayton, we made a return trip to the Tibbetts Point Lighthouse. I wanted a few sunny day pictures to accompany the picture that I took the previous evening.

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse
July 20, 2016

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse is located in Cape Vincent, New York.

The lighthouse marks the point where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River.

The current lighthouse was built in 1854.

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse was first put into operation in 1827.  In 1852 Tibbets Point Lighthouse was determined to be inefficient and long neglected.  Funds were requested to rebuild the lighthouse.  According to information provided on the Lighthouse Friends website, Congress provided $5,000 on March 3, 1853.  The work was completed on July 15, 1854. The following description of the lighthouse was printed in papers:

“The second Fresnel light on the great northern lakes has recently been erected at Tibbett’s Point, Lake Ontario. The shaft is of brick work, 47 feet high, and 12 ½ feet in diameter at the base. The lantern is an octagon, 6 ½ feet in diameter, and 15 feet high, comprising seven lights of French plate glass, 40 by 30, and 3/8ths of an inch in thickness, clear as crystal—the eighth, or remaining side of the octagon, being an iron door.”

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse, Keeper’s Dwelling and Fog Signal Building

In 1877, according to the Lighthouse Friends website, it was noted that the “buildings at this station are old, much decayed, and too small to afford proper accommodations for the keepers. This light is at the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River from Lake Ontario. It must always be an important aid to navigation and should be rebuilt. It is recommended that an appropriation of $10,000 be made for rebuilding this station.  A new two-story, frame dwelling was built for the station in 1880, replacing the old one…, and in 1882, the brick-work of the tower was rebuilt above the parapet-wall and the tower was provided with a new lantern having a wooden deck covered with copper.  The lighthouse now stood fifty-nine feet tall and tapered from a diameter of twelve feet at its base to eleven feet at the lantern room.”

The fog signal building was built in 1897.  The fog signal building is thirty-six feet long, twenty-two feet wide, thirteen feet tall, and is crowned by a hipped roof.

A second keeper’s dwelling was built in 1907.

The establishment of the fog signal necessitated the requirement for two keepers, along with their families, to staff Tibbetts Point Lighthouse.  A new dwelling for the assistant keeper was built in 1907.  Tibbetts Lighthouse no longer requires lighthouse keepers, as the light is now automated.  The visitor center was closed during both of our visits; therefore, I am not certain of the following information.  I believe one keeper’s dwelling is now a hostel, and the other keeper’s dwelling is a museum.

This blog post concludes Day 3 activities.  Please check back often, as I have much more to share about our 1000 Islands Vacation.

 

 

 

 

1000 Islands Vacation – Day 2 Continued

As I wrote in my previous blog post, we enjoyed a boat cruise on the St. Lawrence River during our second day of vacation.  At the end of the boat cruise we were given the option to disembark at Heart Island, at an additional admission fee of $9.00 each, which we did.  Heart Island is home to Boldt Castle.  We could spend as much time as desired on the island and take any Uncle Sam boat back to Alexandria Bay.  We spent approximately 2 hours on the island during which time we watched a short video about George Boldt, the early death of his wife and the restoration of the castle and enjoyed a self-guided tour of the castle, its outbuildings and the island grounds .

Heart Island

Boldt Castle

George C. Boldt came to America in 1864 from Prussia, the son of poor parents.  He became the most successful hotel magnate in America managing and profit sharing the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, as well as the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Mr. Boldt began construction on Boldt Castle in 1900, as a tribute to his beloved wife Louise. Mrs. Boldt passed away suddenly, in January 1904, just months before the completion of the castle. Mr. Boldt was inconsolable and immediately stopped all construction on Heart Island, leaving the property vacant for over seventy years. In 1977 the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property and decided that through the use of all net revenues from the castle operation it would be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.  Since 1977, several million dollars have been applied to rehabilitating, restoring and improving the Heart Island structures.

Boldt Castle rises six stories from the foundation level of the indoor pool
to the highest towered room.  The castle contains 120 rooms.

We toured the ground floor, second floor, third floor, fourth floor and the foundation of the castle.

After our interior tour of Boldt Castle, we spent our remaining time admiring the outbuildings and the island grounds.

the Heart Island Gazebo

Alster Tower

The design of Alster Tower looks like a defense tower.  The Alster Tower, often referred to as the Playhouse, however, was intended for the entertainment of guests. The Alster Tower plans included a room for dancing, a bowling alley, a billiard room, library, bedrooms, cafe, grill and kitchen.

The interior of Alster Tower is currently under renovation.

The Entry Arch

The Entry Arch
Alster Tower in the background

The Power House and Clock Tower

The Power House originally housed two generators
that supplied electricity to Heart Island.

Italian Garden
The four marble statues represent the four seasons.

the Dove-Cote Tower

The Dove-Cote Tower once housed an elevated water tank, which supplied water to the island structures. It was topped with a dove house, where fancy fowl were collected.

When we were ready to leave Heart Island, we did not have a long wait for a shuttle boat.  Shuttle boat returns were every half hour at 10 minutes after and 20 minutes to the hour.

We rode this shuttle boat back to Alexandria Bay from Heart Island.

The return trip was quick, only a 10-minute ride.

One last look at Heart Island from the shuttle boat

We ate lunch at Coleman’s Dock of the Bay.

Coleman’s Dock of the Bay

Bob ordered a Philly Cheese steak sandwich, and I ordered a pulled pork sandwich. Accompanying our sandwiches were house chips. We added a basket of onion rings with a Creole dip to our order. Lunch was good, especially the onion rings.

We returned to our hotel, Capt.’s Inn & Suites, around 4:00 pm.

In the early evening we took a drive to Tibbetts Point Lighthouse.  The lighthouse, which is located in Cape Vincent, NY, was less than a 30-mile drive (along NY State Route 12) from our hotel.

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse
This lighthouse marks the point where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River.

We made it back to our hotel from Tibbetts Point Lighthouse only a short time before a storm hit. Thunder, lightning and rain was intense. At 8:15 pm the electricity went out at our hotel. The electricity was still out, when we went to bed 2 hours later. Sometime during the night our electricity was restored.

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