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  • Writer's pictureMartin's blog

The Story Behind Mohawk Island Lighthouse.

Updated: Jun 9, 2021

In my travels as a photographer I’m always looking for interesting things to photograph, I came across this gem when I was camping at Long Beach, on Lake Erie. The lighthouse is located on Mohawk island at the mouth of the Grand River on Lake Erie, and was built in 1847 by John Brown, a native of Scotland.

The lighthouse was manned for a numbered of years, mostly by war veterans, but in 1929 an unwatched Aga light was installed to be used in the winter months. December 14th, 1932 lighthouse keeper Richard Foster and his son James Foster 25 years old switched the light from summer light to winter light and closed up the station and set sail in a small skiff for the mile and a half trip to the mainland on Dec. 15th. When they hadn’t reported in a search began and their bodies where found on the shore Dec 31st. There’s a lot of speculation how they died.

Following the tragedy the lighthouse was converted to an unstaffed station. A caretaker had to occasionally visit the lighthouse to check the battery operated light. The light remained active until 1969, when vandals smashed the beacon. A light buoy replaced the lighthouse, the lighthouse still stands but the island has become a bird sanctuary for ring-billed gulls, and herring gulls, and in 1977 Mohawk Island National Wildlife Area was created. To learn more about this lighthouse and many others I’ve provided a link

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