Eighty-five years ago, Buffalo was still a great port city. And as a great port city, harbormasters had to guide ships into Buffalo under all conditions.
To beat the frequent Lake Erie fog, the lighthouse’s great fog horn — which could be heard from 25 miles away — was sounded to bring those lake freighters in safely.
While the blaring horn helped ships’ captains pilot their craft, “the mournful moo” was not, as you might imagine, conducive to sleeping in the vicinity of the harbor.
"Lake ships depend on ‘mooing’ of horn"
"When the fog horn at the entrance of Buffalo harbor begins its mournful 'moo,' ending in an abrupt roar, it does more than prompt some of the populace within its range to answer in lurid expletives, or send others to demand of officials that it be stilled."