Built in 1882 to replace the lighthouse / keeper's house of 1847, Rock Island Lighthouse is one of six lighthouses erected on the St. Lawrence River, and the only one that retains all of its original structures. These include a two-story shingle style dwelling, clapboard boathouse and carpenter shop, and metal sided generator house. The oil house was possibly housed iin what is now a paint locker.
Rock Island Lighthouse was deactivated in 1958, and the 6th Order Fresnel Lens removed. At one time, the lamps were powered by a gasoline generator located nearby. Active for almost a century, the light serves tens of thousands of vessels steaming along the St. Lawrence River, going to and from the Great Lakes.
Built just off the island on a concrete foundation, the 40-foot, conical limestone tower is connected to land by a stone walkway. The State of New York maintains it as a park in their Thousand Islands Region.