Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse, Rochester

#3 of 8 in Historic Sites in Rochester
Lighthouse · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Charlotte–Genesee Lighthouse is an 1822 stone octagonal lighthouse in the Charlotte neighborhood in northern Rochester, New York, United States. The 40 ft (12 m) 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.

As of 2014, the lighthouse is active, and listed in the United States Coast Guard Light List as light number 2333.
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Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse reviews

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  • This was a really cool landmark to walk by and look at. It was closed to tours when we stopped, but we were able to walk around the outside of it and it was magnificent to see such an old lighthouse!  more »
  • We were not able to get to go in the lighthouse but was able to go in the building next to it. Able to learn about the history of the lighthouse. Will definitely be back to go in this gem.  more »
  • Cool lighthouse built in 1822. One of only two lighthouses still operating on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. You can go up with a tour guide to see the lens itself. It costs a few bucks per person. There's also a small museum. Nice views of the port of Rochester. Tour guides were friendly and knowledgeable. Be prepared to climb steps. There's a spiral staircase and then a short ladder at the top. It's hot up there on sunny days.
  • This lighthouse you can visit & climb to the tower which holds the light. There is also story time to hear different experience s that happened to lighthouse residents. Really Cool Stories.

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