News · Queries

Query on Oldest Keeper’s Dwelling

U.S. Lighthouse Society member Ted Panayotoff has been researching the lighthouses that have served the Oswego River where it enters Lake Ontario, in Oswego, New York. The current tower on Oswego West Pierhead was built in 1934. The first tower was built at Fort Ontario in 1822. The 1822 tower is long gone but its rubblestone keeper’s dwelling remains. Ted wonders whether this could be the oldest surviving keeper’s dwelling in the Great Lakes?

Old ext photo
According to Panayotoff, the old Oswego light keeper’s house has an interesting history as it reverted to the Army at Fort Ontario after the new lighthouse went into operation on the west side of the Oswego River in 1837. The original 1822 tower was torn down but the Army used the house for various things including the post hospital up through WW II. Photo courtesy of Ted Panayotoff
For many years the old keeper’s dwelling served as the residence for the Fort’s Director until the present director’s family outgrew it (it only has 4 rooms and a kitchen). It is now occupied by a member of his staff. Photo courtesy of Ted Panayotoff

What is the oldest surviving keeper’s dwelling in the U.S.? Please reply to, or comment on, this post if you have a suggestion, or email Ted directly at <>. We will post a summary of our findings at a later date.

Query from Ted Panayotoff, June 14, 2017

*    *    *    *

U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to

2 thoughts on “Query on Oldest Keeper’s Dwelling

  1. I think that the Keeper’s house at Marblehead Ohio was built in 1818, but don’t know the exact date.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.