6. West Bank Lighthouse
Sitting on the west side of the Ambrose Channel, the West Bank Lighthouse has been warning vessels of hazardous sandbars since 1901. Construction lasted only six months on the metal lighthouse which is made of iron from the West Side Foundry of Watervliet, New York. The lighthouse was designated as surplus by the United States Department of the Interior in 2007 and went up for auction in 2010. The winning bidder was Sheridan Reilly, a boater who had sailed past the lighthouse many times and felt it was his duty to save it in order to compensate for all the lives saved by the Light.
In its more than 100 years of service, the light house has sustained some occupational injuries. In 1904 during a heavy storm the vessel Carrie Winslow, which was being towed by a tugboat, crashed into the lighthouse and took with it a chunk of metal and railings. Again in 1915, a barge being towed crashed into the lighthouse and ripped off part of the base. The final incident occurred in 1973 when a vessel ran into the riprap and scared the keeper Robert Lyons so much that he slept with a life jacket nearby from then on. Around that same time, another curious incident occurred. One morning while Lyons was watching television a couple of boys and girls walked into the lighthouse, expecting it to abandoned like others they said they had visited. Lyons proceeded to give them a tour of the very much occupied and active light house.