Built in 1875, the light was operated by the U. S. Lighthouse Board until 1939 when control was transferred to the U. S. Coast Guard. Over the years, the light was lit by various methods, initially oil, followed by kerosene, a coal fired steam generator and finally municipal electricity in 1903. With its original 3rd order Fresnel lens, the 70' high light was visible 18 miles into Lake Ontario.
Upon assuming control, the Coast Guard enlarged the keepers quarters to house both the keeper and assistant as well as their families. At the same time, a fog signal building was constructed adjacent to the light. The double diaphone signal could be heard 10 miles into the lake (and 5 miles inland).
The facility was decommissioned in 1958 and sat vacant for nearly 40 years. Today, after extensive renovation by Friends of Thirty Mile Point in conjunction with the State of New York, the lighthouse tower, keepers quarters, fog signal building, outhouse and coal building are all open to the public. Also on the grounds are two original kerosene storage houses and the carriage building.