East Charity Shoal Light

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East Charity Shoal Light
Eastcharityshoal.JPG
East Charity Shoal Light
East Charity Shoal Light is located in New York
East Charity Shoal Light
Location Lake Ontario, approximately 6 mi (9.7 km) SW of entrance to Saint Lawrence River off Tibbetts Point Light
Coordinates 44°2′12″N 76°28′54″W / 44.03667°N 76.48167°W / 44.03667; -76.48167Coordinates: 44°2′12″N 76°28′54″W / 44.03667°N 76.48167°W / 44.03667; -76.48167
Year first constructed 1877 (in Ohio)
1935 (in New York)[1]
Year first lit 1877 (in Ohio)
1935 (in New York)[1]
Automated 1939[1]
Foundation Concrete
Construction Cast iron[1]
Tower shape Frustum of an octagon[1]
Markings / pattern White with black lantern[1]
Height 16 feet (4.9 m)[1]
Focal height 52 feet (16 m)[2]
Original lens Fourth-order Fresnel lens[1]
Range 9 miles (14 km)[3]
Fog signal None[1]
ARLHS number USA-970[4]
USCG number

7-1760[3]

East Charity Shoal Light
Location Lake Ontario
Area Less than one acre
Built 1935
Architectural style Lighthouse
MPS Light Stations of the United States MPS
NRHP Reference # 08000231[5]
Added to NRHP March 27, 2008

East Charity Shoal Light is an offshore lighthouse located near the Saint Lawrence River's entrance in northeastern Lake Ontario, due south of the city of Kingston, Ontario[6][7] and approximately five miles (8 km) southwest of Wolfe Island.[8] It is on the southeast rim of a 3,300-foot-diameter (1,000 m) submerged circular depression known as Charity Shoal Crater that may be the remnants of a meteorite impact.[9][10]

The lighthouse is located in Jefferson County, New York,[11] near the Canada–United States border.

The tower originally served Vermilion Light Station in Ohio from 1877 to 1929, and was installed at its current New York location in 1935.[1] The lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in March 2008.[11] East Charity Shoal Light has been privately owned since 2009,[12] however easements are in place to maintain the light's function as a navigational aid.[11]

Description[edit]

East Charity Shoal Light sits upon a reinforced concrete pier, 50 feet (15 m) long on each side, that rises approximately 18 feet (5.5 m) above Lake Ontario. The pier is built on a wooden crib foundation with protective riprap. The tower includes a single-story concrete deckhouse that is 11 feet (3.4 m) tall and 20 feet (6.1 m) in diameter. Above the deckhouse rises a three-story cast iron white tower, topped with a lantern and lantern gallery that is painted black. The light's interior includes a basement and five stories. The total height of the pier and tower is 56 feet (17 m).[11] The automated beacon is powered by a solar array, sits at a focal height of 52 feet (16 m), and is visible for nine miles (14 km).[1][3]

East Charity Shoal Light is not open to the public, but it is visible from Tibbetts Point Light on a clear day.

History[edit]

The tower was constructed from recast obsolescent cannon after the Battle of Fort Sumter in the American Civil War.[13] It originally served Vermilion Light Station in Ohio from 1877 to 1929, but was removed after it was damaged in an ice storm. A replica of the tower was installed at Vermilion in 1991.[1]

Prior to the installation of the East Charity Shoal Light, the shoal was the cause of at least one shipwreck, when the Rosedale grounded upon the rocks on December 5, 1897. The shoal was surveyed in 1900, and was found to be an area roughly 3,000 feet (910 m) long that was covered in water approximately 10 feet (3.0 m) deep. A buoy was installed on the eastern edge of the shoal, however groundings continued to occur, leading the United States Lighthouse Service to initiate the installation of a more permanent navigational aid.[1]

Construction of the concrete pier for East Charity Shoal Light began in 1934, and the tower was installed in 1935. The tower was originally lit with a fourth-order Fresnel lens and a 1,300 candlepower light fueled by acetylene.[1]

On July 23, 2008, the Secretary of the Interior identified East Charity Shoal Light as surplus under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.[11] As such, the property was offered by the federal government for no cost to eligible agencies, institutions or organizations, with the agreement that the property would be maintained and made available for educational, recreational, or historic preservation purposes.[14] No organization eligible under the NHLHPA was found to take ownership of the lighthouse.[1]

In 2009, East Charity Shoal Light was put up for auction[15] and was eventually purchased for $25,501 by Cyrena Nolan of Dallas, Texas on August 27, 2009.[16] At the time of the purchase, Nolan intended to convert the lighthouse into a vacation home.[12]

Although the property was transferred to private ownership, the light remains operational and the Aid to Navigation (ATON) remains the property of the United States Coast Guard. An easement is in place to allow for access to maintain or modify the navigational light. The easement also disallows construction of any structure that would interfere with visibility of the light.[11][15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: New York". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. 
  2. ^ "Inventory of Historic Light Stations, New York Lighthouses - East Charity Shoals Light". National Park Service Maritime Heritage Program. National Park Service. April 10, 2002. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Light List, Volume VII, Great Lakes (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2015. p. 19. 
  4. ^ "East Charity Shoal (Lake Ontario) Light - ARLHS USA-970". ARLHS World List of Lights (WLOL). Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society. May 19, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  5. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  6. ^ "West and East Kingston, Galloo and Stony Basins bathymetry (map)". National Centers for Environmental Information. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Charity Shoal bathymetry (map)". National Centers for Environmental Information. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Charity Shoal". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  9. ^ Holcombe, Troy L.; Warren, John S.; Reid, David F.; Virden, William T.; Divins, David L. (2001). "Small Rimmed Depression in Lake Ontario: An Impact Crater?" (PDF). Journal of Great Lakes Research. 27 (4): 510–517. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  10. ^ O'Dale, Charles. "Possible Impact Craters". Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act Notice of Availability - East Charity Shoal Light (offshore), Jefferson County, Cape Vincent, New York 13618" (PDF). National Park Service Maritime Heritage Program. National Park Service. July 23, 2008. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Selk, Avi (September 11, 2009). "Dallas woman finds unique vacation home in New York lighthouse". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on January 13, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Vermilion Lighthouse, Ohio". Lighthouse Friends. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  14. ^ "National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000". National Park Service Maritime Heritage Program. National Park Service. July 18, 2008. Archived from the original on May 8, 2009. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Clark, Sue (June 5, 2009). "First Lighthouse Up For Auction For 2009". Lighthouse News. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  16. ^ "East Charity Shoal, NY". Lighthouse Friends. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • U.S. Coast Guard. Historically Famous Lighthouses (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1957)
  • Wright, Larry and Wright, Patricia. Great Lakes Lighthouses Encyclopedia (Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills Press, 2006) ISBN 1-55046-399-3