Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse . Lake Ontario . New York . Watercolor . 9" x 12"

... The 40 foot tall, octagonal sandstone, Charlotte tower was built in 1822. The initial installation of 12 separate oil fired lamps were located inside a large multi-paned iron lantern on top of the tower. Seven years later, in 1829, two 2500 foot long piers were built around the mouth of the Genesee River, below the lighthouse, and out into Lake Ontario, which had the unfortunate effect of trapping enough of the silty marshland around itself, to effectively move the river entrance further to the north. Shortly thereafter, the light was deemed to be too far from the newly constructed maritime facilites, to be of any use as a navigational aid. The lantern was then removed from the stone tower and installed on the outer point of one of the new piers. When that lantern was sufficiently damaged by storms, it was replaced with a newer Frensel lens. In 1855 a new 4th order Frensel was placed on top of the old tower and in 1863, the current brick lightkeeper's house was constructed. By 1881 the tower light was extinguished and the building eventully became derelict. Beginning in 1984, the tower and house have been restored and are now on the National Historic Register and the keeper's house presently serves as a museum. This is how she looked during my visit in 2009. In 2011 the Coast Guard removed the Frensel lens. However, the old iron lantern was salvaged, repaired and in 2014 again installed above the tower. The stone tower was whitewashed in 2016 and shutters added to the keeper's house, particularly over a pair of bricked shut windows, to appear as it did in service in 1858.


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