Craighill Channel Upper Range Rear Lighthouse

In 1885, nearly ten years after the completion of the Craighill Channel Lower Range Lights, money was requested to construct another set of range lights to mark the new cut-off channel that connected the Craighill and Brewerton Channels. This cutoff also shortened the route by several miles. Construction of the upper and rear range lights were constructed simultaneously and built at a total cost of $25,000, much less than the $45,000 price to construct the lower range lights. Construction of both lights began in September 1885 and both lights were exhibited for the first time on January 15, 1886. Both structures were equipped with fixed white lights. The height of the front light is 15 feet above mean water, while the height of the rear light is 64 feet above mean water. Both lights were completed and in operation in less than six months.

The rear light is a 70-foot-tall iron skeleton frame that surrounds a square wood-encased stairway and is covered with white corrugated sheet metal. It is constructed on a four-brick pier foundation. A six-room, wood and brick keeper’s dwelling was constructed just 60 feet northwest of the lighthouse. A storehouse & privy were also constructed adjacent to the range light. The structure was painted white with a brown, metal roof. The rear light kept its keeper until 1933, when it was officially listed as “unmanned”,

In 2002, both lights were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both Craighill Upper Range Lights were re-lamped with LED light fixtures in 2021. Today, both lights are still an active aid to navigation, exhibiting a fixed red light, twenty-four hours a day.

The lighthouse is located in railroad yards on the west side of Old Road Bay opposite Fort Howard. Site and tower closed to the public.

Head Keepers: John Peterson (1886 – 1892), Charles A. Green (1892 – at least 1918), Albert (Allie) L. Davis (1919 – at least 1921)

(Updated 4/15/2019)




GPS: 39.2162,-76.4627


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