Cumberland Head Lighthouse, lighted with 11 lamps and as many bright reflectors, was built to guide mariners into the harbor at Plattsburgh.
The Lighthouse Board requested funds in 1866 for the complete reconstruction of the tower and keeper’s quarter’s at Cumberland Head, as the previous poorly constructed lighthouse was too short to be seen from the north. Congress provided $18,000 in March of 1867 for rebuilding the lighthouse in a better location, and later that year, the original tower was taken apart and the raw materials were carried to a nearby location.
Blue limestone blocks were hauled from a quarry on Isle la Motte across the frozen surface of Lake Champlain to be used in the construction of the new lighthouse. When the new lighthouse was complete, the light station consisted of a fifty-foot tower attached to a two-story home. The light was showcased for the first time in November of 1868 at a level of seventy-five feet above Lake Champlain.
The lighthouse is privately owned. Grounds, dwelling and tower are closed to the public.