Lake Ontario Lighthouses: Selkirk & Tibbets Point

June 25, 2023

Lake Ontario Lighthouses: Selkirk & Tibbets Point

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A few weeks back, we Marriners continued our summer of lighthouse excursions. This time we headed north, and it was a gorgeous day for a road trip.

Our first stop was in Port Ontario, NY, at the Salmon River Lighthouse, which just about everybody calls the Selkirk Lighthouse. Built in 1838, this gorgeous light sits at the mouth of the Salmon River (hence the official name).

This lighthouse is privately owned, but the owners are fine with people walking around the property and taking pictures. I was completely charmed by the stonework on the house, and that red tower. A classic lighthouse look.


Fun fact: the Selkirk lighthouse has one of the few remaining birdcage lantern rooms.

Funner fun fact: you can book a stay in the lighthouse, and when you do, you can even request a tour of then entire lighthouse, including a trip to the very top and into the light tower! BRB, I’m adding this to my bucket list.

Photo: salmonriverlighthousemarina.com


The obligatory family selfie in front of the lighthouse

After leaving Selkirk we had planned to head straight to our next destination in Cape Vincent, but we made a little side trip to the ridiculously quaint village of Sacket’s Harbor. We walked around some sort of battlefield (I’m married to a history nerd). All I know about it is that it had something to do with the War of 1812. If you want any more details, you’re gonna need to go here to get it.

Text on monument:

IN MEMORY OF THE OFFICERS AND MEN WHO SERVED ON THIS FRONTIER IN THE WAR OF 1812, AND TO MARK THE BATTLEFIELD OF SACKET’S HARBOR MAY 28, 1813. THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED BY THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF UNITED STATES DAUGHTERS OF 1812, STATE OF NEW YORK, NORTHERN FRONTIER CHAPTER OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.


I also stopped to take a look at Navy Point Marina. Back when I was a kid, my grandparents had a sailboat that they kept here. It’s interesting how much smaller the place looks now that I’m an adult. It brought good memories of being out on the water, though.


We stopped for lunch in the village at The Battlefield Eatery. If you want some delectable comfort food in a nice atmosphere with friendly folks, this is the place for you! Vance and I each had omelets, and Griffin had a burger and it was all delicious!

Photo: facebook.com/thebattlefieldeatery


With full bellies, we continued our trip up the Lake Ontario coastline until we hit our next destination in Cape Vincent. At the edge of town, right on the main road, sits a squat little lighthouse which was formerly located on the Cape Vincent breakwater, but which is currently serving as a landmark for folks as they enter the town. But the main attraction comes at the end of a very long and winding road, which has a good view of Wolfe Island (the largest of the Thousand Islands) across the way.


Tibbets Point Lighthouse was built in 1827, and its large white tower sits right where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River.

Fun fact: Tibbets Point has the only original working Fresnel lens on Lake Ontario. (Side note: everyone and their brother who knows or runs a lighthouse is dying to tell you how a Fresnel lens works.)

Funner fun fact: the lady who works in the gift shop is awesome and I totally want to be her best friend. So we bought some cute stuff, including a print of twelve lighthouses of the Seaway Trail, which we are now using as our guide to which ones we want to go to this summer.


And of course there were selfies…


I’m hoping the weather stays nice the next couple of weekends and that Griffin’s work schedule cooperates so that we can plan our next lighthouse adventure. I think we’ll head west next time and maybe hit up the Charlotte-Genesee in Rochester. Stay tuned!


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