Point Au Roche
Point Au Roche Quick Facts
Year Station Established: 1858
Is the Light operational? No
Year Light First Lit: 1858
Year Deactivated: 1989
Tower Height: 50 ft.
Original Optic: 6th Order, Fresnel
Present Optic: 250mm
Existing Keepers Quarters? Yes
Number of Stories: 1.5
Construction Materials: Wood
Point Au Roche Lighthouse
(3 photos, 190KB total download)
Last Visited: November, 2002
In 1858 the Lighthouse Board constructed another of the "Three Sisters", an octagonal tower of blue limestone block on the New York shore opposite La Roche Reef, suth of Isle La Motte. Vessels had to alter course to the east to avoid the shoals along this rocky peninsula. Similar to Windmill Point, this attached Cape Cod cottage was constructed of wood. The sixth order Fresnel lens displayed a fixed white light in a lantern with trapezoid panes atop a 50 foot tower which put its focal plane 54 feet above the lake, making it visible for 13 miles.
When the light was moved to a buoy on La Roche Reef, the Coast Guard abandoned the last of the lake's historic lights, acquired when it took over the lighthouse service in 1939. Declared surplus, the General Services Administration is seeking to transfer it to the Town of Beekmantown, which has expressed interest in preservation of this structure as its oldest monument. An engineering assessment of the work needed to protect and stabilize the old stone light tower was funded by the Lake Champlain Basin Program.
Access to the site is restricted as permission must be granted from the homeowners abutting the station, but the tower and lantern can be viewed through the trees from Point Au Roche Rd.
Lake Champlain Lighthouses
GPS coordinates below are approximate
Nearest Address: 796 Point Au Roche Rd, Plattsburgh, NY
- From Interstate 87 north take exit 40. At the end of the ramp take a right onto SR456, Spellman Rd.
- In 0.5 miles take a right onto US 9.
- In 0.4 miles take a left onto CR 22, Point Au Roche Rd.
- Stay on Point Au Roche Rd for 3.4 miles. Keep a careful lookout on your right side of the road for the lighthouse. It's well hidden by trees, especially if you're trying to look for it in spring or summer. We found it on Thanksgiving weekend, when there were no leaves on the trees and we almost missed it.
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