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Rock Island Lighthouse is located in the Thousand Islands about 4.5 miles northeast of Clayton, Jefferson County, New York, off of Fisher's Landing. Originally commissioned in 1847, it is one of six lights put up along the St. Lawrence River to guide traffic to and from Lake Ontario through the waterway. The Rock Island station is the best preserved, as all of its structures still survive. It was refitted in 1855, rebuilt in 1882, and moved in 1903. The light was closed in 1955 after more a century of service. Today, the lighthouse and island are maintained by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, and while only accessible by private boat, the grounds are open for touring and picnicking.

The Rock Island Lighthouse Historical & Memorial Association was organized on 31 May 2000 by Mark A. Wentling, a descendant of an early keeper, who wanted to learn more about the station and the people who tended it. Its goals are: to record the lives and genealogies of the keepers, to document and publicize the history of the station, to participate in the preservation of its grounds and structures, and to facilitate visits to the island. Membership is free and open to anyone with an interest in the light or its keepers.

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Additional Photos by Tom O'Donnell (gunbud) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 5926 W: 8 N: 8034] (34066)
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