Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse
1930 Federal Rivers and Harbors Act is approved; includes plans for the expansion of Oswego Harbor to accommodate large deep-draft Great Lakes vessels.
1931 Harbor expansion project begins; eastern end of the outer breakwater is removed. The Oswego Breakwater Beacon Lighthouse is decommissioned and removed.
1932 Design of the new Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse is completed. The first design is for a two story lighthouse, the final design is for a single story lighthouse.
1933 Construction of the caisson by the US Army Corps of Engineers is completed. Construction of the lighthouse by the US Lighthouse Service begins.
1934 Construction of the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse is completed and the lighthouse begins operation. The lighthouse includes the light and a fog horn.
1936 A radio beacon transmitter is added to the lighthouse to enable ships with a radio direction finder to
take a bearing on the lighthouse in poor weather.
1939 The US Lighthouse Service is dissolved and the US Coast Guard assumes responsibility for all US
Lighthouses. The keeper and the two assistant keepers at the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse enlist in the US Coast Guard in 1941.
1942 Tragedy strikes Oswego Harbor and the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse when an assistant keeper
along with 5 other Coast guard personnel loose their lives during an exchange of personnel at the
lighthouse in Dec. 1942.
1968 The Coast Guard converts the lighthouse to automatic operation and removes the resident keeper
1995 The Coast Guard converts the lighthouse to solar operation. The 4th order Fresnel lens that was
installed in the lighthouse in 1934 is removed. The lens is loaned to the H. Lee White Marine
Museum where it is now the featured component of an exhibit about the Oswego lighthouses.
2000 The Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2006 The Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse is declared excess by the US Coast Guard. The lighthouse
is available for transfer to a qualified recipient. The City of Oswego begins the application process
in partnership with the H. Lee White Marine Museum.
2009 The City of Oswego is awarded the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse
2010 The City of Oswego forms the Oswego Lighthouse Development Committee to oversee the restoration of the lighthouse and its development as a component of the Oswego Maritime District.
Main LH Page
History of The Lights of Oswego
Find the Lighthouse on Facebook!