U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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West Sister Island
National Wildlife Refuge

black-crowned night heron among cattails

Lake Erie, OH   
E-mail: westsisterisland@fws.gov
Phone Number: 419-898-0014
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Black-crowned night herons are just some of the residents of the rookery on West Sister Island.
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A lighthouse was constructed on West Sister Island in 1821. The current lighthouse was built in 1847, along with a house and shed. Lighthouse keepers and their families lived on the island until 1937, when the light was automated. The only building remaining on the island today is the 55-foot-tall lighthouse.

Starting in April 1945, the War Department bombed the island to test the stadiametric aircraft gunsights. The island proper has not been used for military purposes since 1951. It was designated as a Federal wilderness area in 1975 because of its importance as a heron and egret rookery.

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