BARKER, N.Y. -- The Thirty Mile Point lighthouse boasts a century and a half of history.
Lighthouse Friends reports several ships sank in this portion of Lake Ontario until the Lighthouse Board recommended a coastal light at the border of Niagara and Orleans Counties.
And if you ever wondered where this lighthouse got its name, it sits 30 miles from mouth of the Niagara River.
"It's 143 years old, so it's something we really want to protect,” said park manager Renee Campbell.
According to New York State Parks, the lighthouse was decommissioned by the Coast Guard in 1958, and the land around it, known today as Golden Hill State Park, was acquired by New York in 1962.
Since then, it has served as a beautiful visitor destination.
"A lot of people come here to find solace. It's kind of a peaceful place to come, and we just love the place,” Campbell said. “I mean, it's been here forever. It's just a nice place to be, and you grow attached to it.”
Campbell gave Channel 2 a tour inside the lighthouse and explained that lighthouse keepers used to live here with their families. And since a lighthouse keeper is no longer necessary here, the former living quarters have been transformed into a year-round rental cottage, which means you can stay here in the lighthouse.
"The second floor of a rental unit; it has three bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen, a dining room, so it's nice up there,” Campbell said. “Then the first floor is a museum area we open every year.”
Golden Hill State Park itself is gorgeous, and the view from the lighthouse over Lake Ontario is unbeatable. You can still climb it without having to rent it, and Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse is only about an hour from Buffalo.
Both New York State and park employees continue to worry about shoreline erosion, so it may be worth your while to visit this historic lighthouse while we still can.