Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse, Rochester

The Charlotte–Genesee Lighthouse is an 1822 stone octagonal lighthouse in the Charlotte neighborhood in northern Rochester, New York, United States. The 40 ft tower is located on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Genesee River. It originally had 10 whale oil Argand lamps, which were replaced with a Fresnel lens in 1853.On February 28, 1881, the lighthouse was turned off. After nearby piers changed the mouth of the river, it was far from the water. The light was then moved to a pier in 1884.In 1965, Charlotte High School students started a letter writing campaign to save the lighthouse from impending destruction. It was declared surplus in 1981 by the government. It is now owned by Monroe County and managed as a museum by the Charlotte Genesee Lightouse Historical Society, a nonprofit volunteer organization.It is part of the Seaway Trail, a National Scenic Byway. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a City of Rochester Landmark. It is open to the public.Further reading Oleszewski, Wes. Great Lakes Lighthouses, American and Canadian: A Comprehensive Directory/Guide to Great Lakes Lighthouses, (Gwinn, Michigan: Avery Color Studios, Inc., 1998) ISBN 0-932212-98-0. U.S. Coast Guard. Historically Famous Lighthouses (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1957). Wright, Larry and Wright, Patricia. Great Lakes Lighthouses Encyclopedia Hardback (Erin: Boston Mills Press, 2006) ISBN 1-55046-399-3
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Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Reviews
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  • I recommend taking the tour when it's offered. It's not open until 1pm. I went early in the week when it was not open, but went back on the weekend when I had some free time. The tour is only $5, but ...  more »
  • The location of this lighthouse seems rather strange, unless the port/marina area has greatly expanded since the lighthouse was first operational. Its current inland location makes you wonder how ti w...  more »
  • This is off the beaten path and a chance to see a bit of history. Does not take a lot of time but is interesting. You can go up into the lighthouse. A lot of steps !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  more »
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  • I really like that there is a small picnic area and information on the War of 1812 between the Americans and the British which led to eventual Independence for Canada and solidified the independence of the United States. In addition to the picnic tables and benches scattered around the site, the lighthouse itself is a sturdy Stone and Mortar construction which none should fear to climb. Inside the lighthouse is a time tested spiral staircase which has safely seen visitors from all over the world. Once you ascend, the view from the light room is excellent. On a clear day you can see many miles up the coast in both directions, with the exceptions of a few modern constructions.
  • The volunteers were wonderfully knowledgeable about the lighthouse and surrounding area! A delight and well worth the visit!
  • The tower was constructed in 1822 on a hill just West of the Genesee River and South of what once was a marshy area on the southern shores of Lake Ontario in New York
  • Learned interesting facts about the area but did not go all the way to top of lighthouse because people with me and others in the group ahead were scared aand limited to crawling up. There was no railing, instead a rope that moved between loops, not a secure, safe feeling. A permanent railing would be a HUGE improvement since going up to the top was a potential highlight and goal of the visit.
  • I am glad to see that they have restored the Light and the lamp house. My family was probably the last family to live there back in the mid 70's. My father was the Commanding Officer and the local Coast Guard station across the water way. He had the house restored while we lived there and had opened the light to tours. By word of mouth only. The lamp house was completely boarded up at the time. Happy to see the historical society take it over and restore it to the beauty it use to be. Missed the large trees that was on the property. Kept it cool during the summer. Looks good today.

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Rochester features an extensive network of expressways, allowing quick and easy access to most major attractions regardless of which part of town you stay in. To avoid downtown's pricey hotels, stay in the suburbs for comfortable accommodations as well as free shuttle service to and from the airport. If you prefer a cozy bed and breakfast atmosphere, choose an inn or small motel in one of the city's quiet residential neighborhoods.
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