Robert King was the first keeper of the lighthouse, and Charles Rathburn was appointed his successor in October, 1870. When Keeper Rathburn passed away in 1879, his wife was made responsible for the light.
The first lighthouse burned down in April, 1883, and five months later, its replacement, a square wooden pyramidal tower with attached dwelling, was completed. Mrs. Rathburn remained keeper of the light until 1921.
The present Horton Bluff Lighthouse was built in 1961 along with two keeper's dwellings, and the previous lighthouse was unceremoniously pushed over the cliff and burned after seventy-eight years of service. The 1961 lighthouse features an 8.7 meter high tower rising from one corner of a square, flat-roofed building. An orange vertical stripe, visible from the water, is painted on the tower. Apparently the color of the stripe has faded or is a recent change as others, including the Coast Guard, call it a red stripe.
The light sits atop Horton Bluff with the Avon river sixty-five meters below. This structure is designated as a front range light, and its companion rear range light is a skeleton tower located 539 meters away.