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Taken from the Burlington Fishing Pier, just north of Waterfront Park.

Burlington’s harbor, which faces south and northwest winds, provided little shelter for ships until building on a federally funded breakwater began in 1837. The V-shaped breakwater, built for $28,727 in 1854, was originally 1,000 feet long but was later enlarged as dock construction along the Burlington waterfront increased.

The breakwater was extended to the north by 1,500 feet in 1867, using the same type of construction as the original barrier. In 1890, a 360-foot piece of the original breakwater was constructed north of the enlarged breakwater, leaving a 200-foot gap between the two.

In 1857, wooden lighthouses were initially constructed on the ends of the breakwater to mark the harbor entrances. Both lighthouses did not last long and more well-built lighthouse were needed.

In 1890, two lighthouse were placed at either ends of the detached breakwater. Both towers stood for over 100 years, until they were replaced in 2003. The northern lighthouse is known as Burlington Breakwater North Light and it has a focal plane height of 35 feet. It flashes every 2.5 seconds and has a range of 7 nautical miles.

Don’t miss out on seeing this beautiful Burlington, Vermont structure!

Caption by Whereaboutss user: @tom


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Added By Erica

Erica Houskeeper

I am a freelance writer and photographer based in Vermont. I publish a travel website,, highlighting places and people in the Green Mountain State.

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