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Tibbett's Point/ Cape Vincent Headlines

Copyright 2004 Pat McAvoy-Costin

Milwaukee Sentinel, 15 Jan, 1850

We submit a statement of the disasters and losses in detail, as near as it is possible to ascertain them, which have happened on the lakes in the season of 1849. The information on which it is based, is from the most authentic and reliable sources, and has been procured and compiled by Capt. Rounds, employed by the office of the Northwestern Insurance Company. The Precise loss in all the cases enumerated cannot be determined with perfect certainty, but the statement is believes to be as near the true result as it is possible to make one at this time.

Schr W. J. Pardee, wrecked on Tibbett’s Point, Lake Ontario 700 Notes: This excellent List was provided by Robert Jaeck, Racine, Wis. Contributed by Dave Swayze Maritime History of the Great Lakes website.

Daily News, (Kingston), Feb. 11, 1854

p.2 Lifeboats - The American Government are about to station life boats along the southern shore of Lake Ontario, according to the following arrangement: - 1 at Tibbett's Point, at the outlet of the Lake; 1 at Stony Point, near the entrance of Hungry Bay, 1 at the mouth of Sandy Creek; one at the mouth of Salmon River; 2 at the City of Oswego; 1 at Big Sodus Bay; 2 at Genessee River, and 1 at Niagara.

Daily News, (Kingston), Sept. 1, 1854

A New Lighthouse
The following notice has been forwarded to us by a friend who has just been enjoying the beauties of the Thousand Islands:

A light house has recently been erected at Tibbett's Point, (Lake Ontario,) in this State, which, as being the second of its class introduced on our great inland waters, calls for a special notice. The new lighthouse occupies a position some seventy feet eastward of the old light, which has now done its service of nearly thirty years, "for better, for worse." Its shafts of brickwork is of the proportions of a Grecian Doric column - forty-seven feet high, twelve feet six inches in diameter at base. This shaft is surmounted by a solid cut-stone cap, thirteen feet in diameter, which forms the platform of the lantern section. Upon this cap rises a brick platform, circular on outside and octagonal within, three feet high; and this is covered with a cut-stone coping through the six inches thickness of which the iron posts of the lantern are inserted or secured. The lantern is an octagon, six feet and a half in diameter and fifteen feet high, comprising seven lights of French plate glass, 40 x 30, and 3/8 of an inch in thickness, clear as crystal - the eighth, or remaining side of the octagon being an iron door opening on the stone platform, there being a space of over two feet, protected by an ample iron balustrade around the lantern section.

From this height the view all around is very fine, presenting the adjacent islands on Lake Ontario, as well as those of the River St. Lawrence, at whose head this graceful structure stands, and the craft of every class in transit upon their commercial errands to or from Ogdensburgh, French Creek, Cape Vincent and the several ports on Lake Ontario, or our Upper Lakes, via Welland Canal.

The interior of the shaft is a cylinder of 6.6 sec. diameter throughout its height. The ascent for the first thirty feet is by light cast-iron stairs, winding round a pillar at centre, about three inches diameter. This space is lighted by two windows opening on hinges and through which beautiful view may be had, recesses for resting places being provided. From the landing at the head of the stairs, an iron ladder, seven feet long, gives access to the cleaning room - a neat, well ventilated apartment, in which is the closet for the utensils, etc., of the lighting apparatus. Another iron ladder, eight and a half feet long, conducts to the lantern. The man-holes to both cleaning room and lantern are closed by iron trap-doors on hinges, and the slightest possibility of fire completely guarded against. The floors being inch thick iron also.

Upon a handsome iron pillar three feet and a half high, at the centre of the lantern floor, is set the illuminating apparatus, on the dioptric system of M. Fresnel. This consists of lenticular sections forming a cut-glass globe, somewhat resembling in outlines an egg set upon its end; which lens are so arranged that all rays of light which would (as in ordinary lamps) be lost above or below, are taken up and sent into the focal flame, thus economizing light and applying it directly to the purpose it is intended to serve.

The mariners of Ontario and the St. Lawrence are well satisfied that this new aid to navigation is all that is required - presenting, as it does, a vivid light, quite distinct in color from any other around, and therefore easily detected and always reliable. On the whole the Tibbett's Point new Light House is a great improvement on the old system, and it is satisfactory to know that the Light House Board contemplates the introduction of this reformation in lanterns and lamps as speedily as circumstances will permit. The lighthouse about to be erected at Green Island, as well as the iron Screwpile Beacons at Maumee Bay, both on Lake Erie, will be on the improved principle; and the day is not far distant when the old system of imprisoning from a dozen to two dozen lamps in a thickly cross-barred cage, will be classed among the curiosities of Chinese philosophy or Japan Ingenuity.

I stated in commencing this notice that Tibbett's Point was the second of the Fresnel lights on our lakes. The first was erected at Gooshance, Straits of Mackinac, by that estimable officer, the late Captain Canfield, T.E., under the direction of the Bureau of Topographical Engineers. [Buffalo Commercial Advertiser]

Directory of the Marine Interests of the Great Lakes, R. L. Polk & Co., Detroit, (Detroit, MI), 1884 , page 419

Inspector - N. Mayo Dyer, Commander, U.S.N., Buffalo, NY
Engineer - Charles E. L. B. Davis, Capt. Of Engineers, U. S. Army, Detroit, Mich
List of Lights and Keepers, 10th District

Tibbett's Point - A. J. Cratsenburg

British Whig, (Kingston), April 21, 1888


No light has yet been displayed at Tibbett's Point lighthouse. The keeper, Mr. Montannie, says there is still in Lake Ontario twenty miles of solid ice.

Weekly British Whig, (Kingston), Jan. 16, 1890

Roundabout Journey of a Letter Sent by Water-Bound Residents Picton, Jan. 13 - Capt. Ostrander, of the Victoria hotel, received a letter today which was transmitted in a peculiar manner. Capt. Ostrander is the lessee of Main Ducks Island, and has two men remain on the island all winter. These men have no means of communicating with the mainland. They determined to send the captain the following letter:

Main Ducks Island, Jan. 5.
If anyone finds this note please forward it to Capt. Ostrander, of the Victoria hotel, Picton and will get rewarded. All is well and booming on the Ducks, but no ice yet.
Alexander Taylor, Edward Ackerman, of Picton.

They adopted a novel means of sending it. They enclosed it in a glass bottle, attached it to a float and sent it adrift. This bottle was picked up by D.H. Montona, the keeper of Thibet's (sic - Tibbett's?) Point, N.Y. life-saving station, on the evening of Jan. 8th, and forwarded to Capt. Ostrander the next day. The distance between Main Ducks and Thibet's Point is about 40 miles.

British Whig, (Kingston), Nov. 26, 1890

p.2 Improvements On the Lakes - A press dispatch from Washington says that the next report of the lighthouse board to Secretary Windom will recommend the establishment of the following aids to navigation on Lake Ontario: A steam fog signal on Galloup Island, cost $5,700; a steam river fog whistle at the entrance to the Oswego River, cost $4,300; a lighthouse at the head of Carleton Island, cost $8,600; a fog signal at Tibbett's Point, cost $4,300; light ships on Bay State shoal at the crossover, cost $800; a fog signal at Charlotte, cost $4,300.

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