Fisher's Landing, between Alexandria Bay and Clayton, has long been a nexus of river activity. Before construction of the bridge, a horse ferry from the hamlet connected the mainland and Wellesley Island. a Fishers Landing boat building, "Captain" Clarence Fox operated a motorized ferry during prohibition in the 1920s. His own cottage became a popular hall during that era of run-running on the river. The family continued operation of an Italian restaurant there, the river institution known as "Foxy's".
Nearby islands retain period cottages characteristic of the regional style, all interior surfaces of wood, mellow with patina of age, aromatic in the summer sun. The furnishings are antique and the rooms rich in local memorabilia.
Rock Island Light House is one of the most prominent lighthouses of the many in the region, with probably the best historical documentation. Owned by the State of New York, the site is administered by the New York State Office of Parks and Recreation. Rock Island is a model of public-private collaboration in landmark preservation.
The history of the Light House has a web site launched in 2000 by Mark A. Wentling, a descendant of an early keeper at Rock Island, who wanted to learn more about the light and the people who tended it.
Famed "Pirate Bill" Johnston, after years of hiding among the islands, received a presidential pardon and was appointed keeper of Rock Island Light House. Logs of Rock Island lighthouse keepers provide intimate and intriguing insights into nineteenth-century life on the river, especially related to nautical adventures and disasters.
The Rock Island Lighthouse and Historical Association also has compiled historical photographs and a fine bibliography. Rock Island is accessible to the public by boat, although (as the sign in the tower indicates), the buildings are closed except for arranged visits.
Photograph courtesy Rock Island Lighthouse Historical and Memorial Association