Explore the Creepy Abandoned Lighthouse of Oneida Lake
An abandoned lighthouse in Central New York has a creepy vibe, and a storied history.
August 7th marks National Lighthouse Day. There are dozens of lighthouses all over New York state, but one quirky Central New York lighthouse is just 54 miles from Utica, as the crow flies. It has an interesting past and you can get up close and personal with it...if you dare.
Located in Cicero, it's one of three Oneida Lake lighthouses that helped navigators during the 1918 Barge Canal opening; the other two are in Central Square and Verona Beach. The tower was originally constructed at 85 feet tall, with a 20-foot addition in 1949.
The island can be reached only by boat. Unlike the Verona Beach Lighthouse, the abandoned lighthouse on Frenchman Island can be climbed and affords nice views of the lake and surrounding lake shores.
Frenchman Island's name comes from the legend of a common French man and a wealthy French woman who eloped to the Americas in defiance of the woman's father. They built a home upon the island in the late 1700s, where they remained for seven years, having three children during that time.
To learn more about lighthouses, check out the United States Lighthouse Society, "a nonprofit historical and educational organization dedicated to saving and sharing the rich maritime legacy of American lighthouses and supporting lighthouse preservation throughout the nation."