First lighthouse powered by natural gas sits in Portland Harbor: Barcelona Lighthouse

Destination NY

It’s just off the Thruway in southwestern New York State, just beyond Fredonia: The Barcelona Lighthouse at Portland Harbor.  

Built of fieldstone, the structure stretches 40 feet into the sky. When it was finished in 1829, it was the first lighthouse in the country powered by natural gas, piped in from a natural reserve more than a mile away. 

The lighthouse is no longer in service as a beacon for boaters, helping to navigate the waters of Lake Erie, but it is still lit and visible through an agreement with the Town of Westfield in Chautauqua County.

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