The Horseshoe Reef Lighthouse is a dilapidated lighthouse in Lake Erie near Buffalo, New York, at the head of the Niagara River, which empties Lake Erie into Lake Ontario.
On December 9, 1850, the United Kingdom ceded one acre of territory surrounding Horseshoe Reef, an underwater hazard, to the United States. As a result, the lighthouse played a minor role in the United States’ territorial evolution. On March 3, 1851, the US Congress appropriated funds to construct a lighthouse there as a condition for transferring the land. Although construction was difficult, first light was achieved on September 1, 1856, using a Fresnel lens.
The lighthouse’s operation ceased on August 1, 1919, or in 1920, and it has since been abandoned to the elements, with the majority of the structure rotting away.
The lighthouse is on the Lighthouse Digest magazine’s “Doomsday List.”
The Federal Government still owns the site. The grounds are closed and no access is permitted. It is visible from the Buffalo Main Lighthouse and Lasalle Park in Buffalo. A telephoto lens on your camera will assist with picture taking.