This Region:
Lake Champlain, VT
Previous Light:
Isle La Motte Light
Next Light, CT South:
Great Captain Is, CT

Windmill Point Lighthouse
Lake Champlain, VT

windmill point lighthouse

Alburg, Vermont
Built in 1857


Location:

Located at the edge of a small peninsula two miles from the Canadian border on the most northeastern shoreline of Vermont's Lake Champlain.

Latitude: 44° 58' 53" N
Longitude: 73° 20' 30" W

 

Historic Stories:

Through the centuries northern Lake Champlain folklore describes a Loch Ness Monster-type creature nicknamed “Champ” that lives in the area. There have been numerous sightings by visitors and locals alike of some creature out in the lake. Nothing has ever been found.

The French who constructed a stone windmill there once occupied the location where the current lighthouse was built.  The area also played a part in the Revolutionary War on September of 1776, where then colonial General Benedict Arnold anchored his fleet prior to the Battle of Valcour Island. Although his fleet of Colonials suffered a loss, it delayed the British invasion long enough over the winter to allow the army to gain strength and defeat the British at Saratoga. Later, in the same area, the British ship Thunderer carrying sick and wounded soldiers defeated from the Battle of Saratoga, sank off the point as it crashed onto the rocks under the shallow waters.

A lighthouse consisting of a lantern on a post was used at Windmill point as early as 1830.
The Windmill Point lighthouse was built in 1858 to help guide mariners around the channel and islands of the northern portion of Lake Champlain. Together with the Isle La Motte Light, it forms a rough line marking the channel through the center of the lake. Windmill Point is the most northern lighthouse of all the Lake Champlain lighthouses, lying a mere two miles from the Canadian border. It marks the northern end of the lake and the entrance to the Richelieu River. It became one of ten lighthouses originally established along Lake Champlain.

Vintage Image Windmill Point Light
Courtesy US Coast Guard

In 1931, a skeletal tower replaced the tower, and the Customs Service in catching rumrunners during the prohibition period using the lighthouse property.

In 1963, a local man named Lockwood “Lucky” Clark was walking around the property with his bride to be when the owner came out and asked him if we wanted to buy the property. Clark’s father had already purchased the Isle La Motte lighthouse nearby so he decided to purchase Windmill Point to keep both neighboring lighthouses in the family.

In 2001, a Coast Guardsman, who visited the residence, decided to make a sincere effort to restore the original lighthouse, petitioning that it would be more cost effective to replace the light on the tower then to maintain the deteriorating skeletal tower. The lighthouse was relit in 2002, thanks to nearly 400 hours of investment by the Clarks to ready the structure.

 

New England Lighthouses

 

Places to Visit Nearby:

This rural area provides plenty of picturesque views of farmlands, forests, and wetlands. There are many biking and hiking trails groomed for locals and visitors alike to enjoy this quiet scenery. These trails also are used in the winter by cross country skiers and snowmobilers.

 

 

 

 

Directions:

The lighthouse is still best viewed by boat, as it is still a private residence and not open to the public. As access to the lighthouse is being contested in the courts, people are discouraged from trying to drive to the lighthouse.

Views of the lighthouse can be seen from the New York shoreline near Rouses Point.

Contact Info:

US Coast Guard, Burlington Station
Depot Street
Burlington, VT 05401-5226
Tel: (802) 951-6792
Fax: (802) 951-6793

 

 

 

My 300-page book (with over 360 images), Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Northern New England: New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, contains stories from each of the 76 lighthouses in these states, along with plenty of coastal attractions and tours near each beacon.

Look inside!

book northern New England lighthouses and attractions

 


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