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Horseshoe Reef Lighthouse

This light once marked a reef that has always been a hazard to the navigation of the port city of Buffalo. Keeper's lived ashore and used boats to tend to the light. In 1920, the Buffalo Crib Light made this light redundant and it was abandoned. The winds and waves have since destroyed all but the steel support skeleton.

The structure has not gone entirely to waste, as a colony of cormorants have taken up residence on the stark beams. Previously endangered, they have returned to the Great Lakes area and have graced the Horseshoe Reef ruins for the last fifteen years. Cormorants need three things in a locale to declare it their home, and the Middle Reef structure qualifies on all counts. It is devoid of people, in proximity to shallow water that contains schools of small fish and provides plenty of roosting space. Not everyone is thrilled about the presence of the birds. Sports fishermen are irked that each of the hundreds of cormorants daily consume up to a pound of small fish every day, depleting the feed for larger fish.

Established: 1856
Status: Ruins
Location: On the reef, one and one half miles east of Buffalo, NY


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