By Michael Aaron Gallagher
The juxtaposition of water crashing into the rocky shore, dividing hope and danger, light piercing darkness – that is where a lighthouse stands.
As my travel adventures continue, I have set out to photograph the lighthouses I see on my journeys. After coming across a map of lighthouses along the St. Lawrence Seaway and the southern coast of Lake Ontario, I began to visit them with my mother, one by one.
I have discovered there’s something very peaceful and comforting about lighthouses. Whether I am standing beside one, climbing up to the top inside or gazing across the water, I have found the profound beauty of such a simple structure can last for centuries.
Tibbetts Point Lighthouse
Cape Vincent, New York
The first lighthouse on my list is one of the first lighthouses I saw as a child. I revisited it many years later, finally ready to appreciate it for its simple beauty.
Pulaski, New York
When I arrived at the Selkirk Lighthouse, the sun had amost set on the horizon. It turned out to be the perfect moment to photograph it. My mother also took a photograph of me taking this picture. A few weeks later, I came across an 8” x 10” black and white photograph of the lighthouse in an antique store, which I framed and gave to her as a reminder of our adventures.
Oswego Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse
Oswego, New York
The third lighthouse I visited, was photographed from the shore. I’m hoping to return at some point to take the boat ride out to photograph it closer.
Stony Point Lighthouse
Near Henderson Harbor, New York
A private family residence near the end of a dead end road, this beautiful lighthouse was the fourth one I’ve seen on my journey.
Rochester, New York
The Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse was the first lighthouse I had the opportunity to climb the spiral staircase to the top of and enjoy the view of the shore of Lake Ontario.
Sodus Bay Lighthouse
Sodus Point, New York
Looking out across Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario, the lighthouse is a reminder of the site where the Battle of Sodus Point took place in 1813. With international tensions running high in the War of 1812, the British came ashore and attacked the village. The original lighthouse was constructed in 1825, but the current limestone building was first lit in 1871.
Perhaps best known for being the lighthouse featured on Cape Cod brand potato chips, Nauset Lighthouse is perched above a popular tourist beach.
Long Point Lighthouse
With the city of Provincetown in the background, I took this photo of Long Point Lighthouse as our whale watch boat departed the bay.
Gay Head Lighthouse
Although it isn’t the first lighthouse I have seen that has had to be moved due to the erosion of the shoreline, it sits atop one of the most beautiful cliffs on Martha’s Vineyard. It was moved away from the edge in 2015. The lighthouse was also featured in the movie Jaws (1975).