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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  • Beautiful historical keeper's house museum and lighthouse! It is supported by its society of volunteers, membership dues, admissions, and gift shop. Generous benefactors have funded grants to help with restoration.
  • 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.
  • Beautiful place to visit, i brought a date here and she loved it. right by the water.
  • What a great piece of local history! Rich in history with extremely knowledgeable guides. My young nieces and I had a lovely 1.5 hours exploring and enjoyed a picnic prior to opening on the property.
  • Great little lighthouse on the hill. Be sure to walk out to the lighthouse on the pier too!

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Where to stay in Rochester

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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