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The Endangered Light

Horseshoe Reef Light


Now in imminent danger of collapse, this lighthouse once moved two nations. It also was considered one of the ;east hospitable and loneliest stations on the Great Lakes, as its young keepers could see the bright lights of the city but not always get to them.


This light marked the treacherous entrance to the Niagara River. Its skeletal remnants are visible from Lighthouse Point, to the right of the orange-roofed city water intake. Approachable only in very calm weather, the light was built in 1856 on an acre of underwater reef ceded, after careful negotiations, by Great Britain to the United States. In 1913 an international commission simply moved the border to put this lighthouse in American waters. It went dark and was abandoned just a few years later, when an automated light was put atop the new water intake.

City Water Intake Light


Not a lighthouse, the city water intake in the Emerald Channel a short distance lakeward of the Horseshoe Reef Light is connected by a tunnel under the lake to the large orange-roofed pumping station ashore.

The automated light atop the intake replaced the Horseshoe Reef Light, which went dark in 1919. Both the Intake and the relatively close Horseshoe Reef Light remnant are visible from Lighthouse Point, although the reef light seems doomed to collapse.

Intake 2016 5.JPG
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