Charlotte Quick Facts
Year Station Established: 1822
Is the Light operational? No
Year Light First Lit: 1822
Year Deactivated: 1984
Tower Height: 40 ft.
Original Optic: 4th Order, Fresnel
Present Optic: 4th Order, Fresnel
Existing Keepers Quarters? Yes
Year Constructed: 1863
Number of Stories: 3
Construction Materials: Brick
(19 photos, 621KB total download)
Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Videos
Last Visited: May, 2004
The lighthouse site was probably used as a summer camp by Native Americans for hundreds of years. In February, 1792, William and Mehitabel Hincher, their son and seven daughters came up from Big Flats, NY. They moved into a log cabin that William and his son had built the previous summer. They were the first perminent white settlers along the lake shore between the Genesee River and Fort Niagara.
In 1821, after William's death, Mehetable sold three and one third acres of her proprty to the U.S. Government for $400.00. The next year the Lighthouse tower and a two-room house for the keeper were constucted of stone. The tower was forty feet high and was equipped with ten Argand lamps fueled with whale oil.
Originally the tower was close to the lake. In 1829, after the piers were built to prevent sand bars from forming across the river mouth. Sand was deposited instead along the piers and a beach began to grow, leaving the tower farther from the lake each year.
In 1853, the tower was modernized by the installation of a fourth order Fresnel lens that replaced the ten Argan lamps. The wooden tower stairs were replaced by cast iron steps supported by a liner of bricks.
The present keeper's house was built to replace the inadequate two room original structure. The roof was slate and the house had two chimneys which aserved as flues for stoves in several rooms. What appear to be bricked up windows on the front facade were put there for balance. The windows were shuttered and the shutters on those blank spaces would have been kept closed.
In the early 1880's the tower was deactivated and the lens was moved out to the west pier of the Genesee River. The Lighthouse has served as a museum since 1984.
Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Museum
Mid-May to Mid-October, Saturday and Sunday 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Groups - Any day and time, by appointment
There is no admission fee but donations are gratefully accepted.
Nearest Address: 70 Lighthouse St, Rochester, NY
- Take the Lake Ontario State Parkway east to its end.
- At the end, take a left onto Lake Ave.
- Follow Lake Ave for about 0.3 miles. On the right you'll see the Holy Cross church and Rectory. Pull into the parking lot right after the church. You'll see the lighthouse at the back of the parking lot.
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