History & Tours
Brief History of the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse:
The Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse was built to improve upon and replace the existing lights of Oswego Harbor in 1934. Still an active ait-to-navigation for Lake Ontario sailors, the Lighthouse is representative of the City of Oswego's rich maritime history, heritage, and culture. The Lighthouse was built as part of an extensive harbor enlargement project that involved the construction of new arrowhead breakwaters and enlarged anchorage. Designed by the Superintendent of Lighthouses, 10th District of Buffalo, NY in 1932-33, the Lighthouse was placed at the end of the new west-arrowhead breakwater nearly one-half miles offshore into Lake Ontario which required special engineering to withstand the high winds, heavy surf, and destructive ice common to the Lake. The St. Lawrence Seaway, completed in 1969, opened the Port of Oswego Authority to larger ocean-going freighters which further enhanced the need for continued and reliable aids-to-navigation. The lantern was automated in 1969 - ending the era of light-keeping as a profession in Oswego - and the original fourth order Fresnel Lens was removed and placed in the care of the Maritime Museum in 1995.
Today, in partnership with the City of Oswego, the H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego serves as the steward of the iconic and historic station. Since 2012, our all-volunteer crew has worked tirelessly to restore the interior of the station, scheduled for completion in 2020. In 2018, the exterior of the Lighthouse was completely renovated above the caisson level.
Tours to the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse:
The H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego offers tours to the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse by boat. Tickets are $25 per person, $20 ages 5-10, and we can accommodate reservations of up to six people per transit to the station. Lighthouse boat tours are not recommended for children under 5 years of age. Visitors to the Lighthouse should plan to spend roughly two hours (including transit) for their experience and our captains reserve the right to cancel or cut-short any trip due to weather or safety concerns. Check back soon for 2021 tour dates!
Book your experience today
at the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse
by calling 315-342-0480
Oswego Lighthouse Rules:
- The captain is in charge while underway
- Not recommended for children under 5 years of age
- Children under 12 MUST wear a life jacket during transit
- All children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult
- There are no restrooms at the Lighthouse
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to departure
- Flat, rubber-soled shoes highly recommended
- No smoking, alcohol, or food is permitted on site
- The Lighthouse is not fully accessible
Promotional Lighthouse Tours & Dinner Discount
The City of Oswego and the Maritime Museum partner to offer discount tours of the Lighthouse and $5 off local cuisine!
Thursday August 26th, Discounted lighthouse tour and $5 off at LaParilla, Southern Fare, and GS Steamers! ...READ MORE
Lighthouse Boat Tours 2021
Tickets now available online!
After a historic year in 2020, the Maritime Museum is excited to kick of the 2021 tour season. Purchase your tickets here....READ MORE
Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary Feature
The pending National Marine Sanctuary on Lake Ontario was featured on Great Lakes Now!
Check out the feature on sanctuary initiatives on the Great Lakes here....READ MORE