New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide
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The present handsome 40-foot stone tower was built in 1858 along with a keeper's house attached by a passageway to the tower. Similar towers were built around the same time on the New York side of the lake at Point aux Roches and Crown Point. The lighthouse originally held a sixth-order Fresnel lens exhibiting a fixed white light.
The light's first keeper was a woman, Clarina Mott. Mott was born in Alburg in 1803. The third keeper at the station, Herbert C. Phelps, another Alburg native, was a Civil War veteran. Phelps graduated from medical school in 1874, while he was serving as keeper, and he went on to work for many years locally as a doctor and surgeon.
Windmill Point's last keeper was Edward H. Hill, son of Wilbur Hill, longtime keeper of the nearby Isle la Motte Light. Edward Hill and his wife, Lillian, raised eight children at the light station.
In 1931, the light was removed from the lighthouse and was relocated to a nearly steel skeleton tower. The lighthouse and keeper's house passed into private hands. In 1963, a local man named Lockwood "Lucky" Clark was showing his bride-to-be around the area. As he was pointing out the lighthouse, the owner approached and asked if they were interested in buying it. Clark soon purchased the propery, making two lighthouses in the family -- his father had bought Isle la Motte Lighthouse in 1949.
The relighting ceremony was the result of cooperation between the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, the State of Vermont, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Clark family, owners of the lighthouse. At 8:33 p.m. everyone counted down from ten and the light was switched on.
Lighthouse buff Sue LeFever, who attended the relighting, says that the Clarks were "ordinary folks who take extraordinary pride in their accomplishments and enjoy sharing with others. They are true lightkeepers."
Lucky Clark, lighthouse owner and preservationist, died in 2009 at the age of 92. Click here to read more about him.
Windmill Point Lighthouse is private property and is not open to the public.
Keepers: (Thanks to David E. Cook for providing this list in his book The Light-Keepers of Lake Champlain. If you have any information on the keepers of this lighthouse, I'd love to hear from you. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone copying this list onto another web site does so at their own risk, as the list is always subject to updates and corrections.)
Clarinda Mott (1859-1862); William Brayton (1862-1867), Herbert Phelps (1867-1889), Jonathan Bowman (1889-1908), Edward Hill (1908-1931)