Dunkirk Lighthouse

Lake Erie is home to more than 50 lighthouses, 9 of which are in New York. Lighthouse enthusiasts will be happy to learn that 3 of these lights are within easy driving distance of our Chautauqua area B&B, Maple Springs Lake Side Inn. These include Barcelona Lighthouse, the South Buffalo North Side Light, and Dunkirk Lighthouse.

Lighthouses have protected ships from treacherous shorelines and guided them home through dark, foggy, or stormy seas since before recorded history. Now wonder their towering and iconic silhouettes stir up romantic feelings for history, the sea, and coastal living.

There are roughly 700 lighthouses in the United States, with a great many of them found along the shores of the Great Lakes. As we say above, Maple Springs Lake Side Inn is quite near three of them. Barcelona Lighthouse, located in Portland Harbor, is the closest at just 20 minutes away. Dunkirk Lighthouse and the South Buffalo North Side Light are just a little farther away. Located in Dunkirk, just over 30 minutes away.

While the Barcelona Lighthouse is currently closed to the public for construction, the other two are open.

Dunkirk Lighthouse & Veterans Park Museum

Dunkirk Lighthouse, aka Point Gratiot Lighthouse, is located at 1 Lighthouse Point Drive in Dunkirk, NY. .

The 61 foot tall, square, Dunkirk Light tower was built in 1826. It’s imposing base composed of brick-faced rubblestone. Though the light was automated in 1960, it retains its original, third-order Fresnel lens, which was installed in 1857. The still operational light tower has a range of 27-miles, making it one of Lake Erie’s most powerful beacons.

South Buffalo North Side Light
South Buffalo North Side Light By Doug Kerr from Upstate New York – Dunkirk, New York, CC BY-SA 2.0

Visitors to the lighthouse can enjoy guided tours of the light tower, keeper’s home, grounds, and the Veteran’s Park Museum. This includes a climb up the tower’s spiral staircase for breathtaking views from the observation deck. Wow!

South Buffalo North Side Light

The South Buffalo North Side Light is a 29-foot tall, “bottle shaped” beacon made of boiler plate. The light’s unique exterior features four cast iron port windows and a curved iron door. The historic beacon served at the entrance to Buffalo Harbor in Buffalo, New York, from 1903 to 1985. It is now decommissioned and located just inside the gate to the Dunkirk Lighthouse.

The South Buffalo North Side Light’s twin, the Buffalo North Breakwater South End Light, is currently located at the mouth of the Buffalo River near the Buffalo Lighthouse. It was also formerly located at the entrance to Buffalo Harbor.

Having both of these unique and fascinating attractions nearby is just one more reason to book your stay today at Maple Springs Lake Side Inn. The Chautauqua area is loaded with fun things to do and see. Let us know what things interest you and we’ll help point you in the right direction!

Dunkirk Lighthouse and the Veteran’s Museum are open seasonally, May through October. Visit the lighthouse website for more information. You can also find the it on Facebook.