Press-Republican

Local News

July 1, 2013

Lighthouse features display on island camps

VALCOUR ISLAND — A new exhibit at Valcour Island lighthouse features a pictorial history of the island’s former inhabitants.

The Clinton County Historical Association will open the lighthouse on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer, beginning July 7.

Visitors can explore this historic structure, which was built in 1974, and study exhibits depicting topics related to Valcour Island and the region.

‘IDEAL LOCATION’

The newest presentation, “The 20th Century Camps at Valcour,” offers a glimpse of several structures that dotted the island’s shoreline at one time but no longer exist, save for the lighthouse itself and the stone building on the island’s southern edge once owned by the Seton family.

“This is an ideal location (for the display) because the lighthouse was used as a camp from 1931 to 1986,” said Roger Harwood, chair of the Bluff Point Lighthouse Committee and researcher for the exhibit.

When the lighthouse was decommissioned in the 1930s in favor of a nearby steel tower beacon, it became property of the Raboff family, who also owned the camp on the shoreline just south of the lighthouse.

PROTECTION

The Raboff camp was the last private structure on the island to be torn down in the early 1990s, and Harwood credits Dr. Adolph Roboff’s efforts to protect the lighthouse as vital to its current existence.

“The preservation of this lighthouse is important,” Raboff said in an article published in the Press-Republican on Jan. 16, 1986. “It’s like a signature on a letter which tells the story of the history of the island.”

Raboff’s full quote is on display at the lighthouse.

The iron tower was abandoned when the lighthouse beacon was turned back on, and the tower is now home to a family of osprey, who often welcome visitors to the lighthouse with a series of chirps.

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