Installation of Walkway Scheduled for Spring 2012

Written By: Peg - Jan• 31•12

The Memorial Walkway at the Oak Orchard Lighthouse site is expected to be installed this spring.  As of this date (Jan. 31)  Bid Packages are being sent out to prospective contractors.  If you know a landscaper or mason who may be interested in bidding on the package, please have them contact Peg at 585-682-4552 or peg@oakorchardlighthouse.org to request a Bid Package.   We will accept bids until February 28th, 2012.

If you haven’t purchased your personalized brick for the Memorial Walkway and you would like to have one installed you should order it now.  Once the walkway is completed, we cannot assure when or if we will be removing sections to replace with more personalized bricks.  You may order  in two ways:
1) Download the Brick Order Form on the “Support” page and mail it in with your payment of $50, or
2) Via PayPal by going to the Gift Shop to place an internet order.

With continuing support from you – the community, our visitors and our supporters –  we will complete the site work at the Oak Orchard Lighthouse in 2012 for your enjoyment!  Thank you all, and …“See you at the lighthouse!”

OOLH to Host Spring Chicken Dance & Dinner, 3/31/12

Written By: admin - Jan• 31•12

Spring Chicken Dance & Dinner
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Doors Open at 5:30 PM
Carlton Fire Hall
Route 98 (Albion, NY)

  • $12.50 includes Dinner, Dessert & Dancing!
  • Chicken Dinner by Clor’s of Batavia
  • Music by Triple Play
  • Fabulous Basket Auction & Raffles
  • Limited tickets at the door, pre-sale suggested
  • Take-out available
  • Purchase tickets online or call Peg @ 585-749-7050, Larry @ 585-230-7829 or Diane at 585-682-5786

Proceeds to benefit the completion of the brick walkway. Purchase your brick at the dinner/dance or our online Gift Shop.

American Public Works Association Honors Oak Orchard Lighthouse Project

Written By: Peg - Feb• 20•11

The Oak Orchard Lighthouse Historic Restoration Project was honored by the American Public Works Association’s Genesee Valley Branch at a dinner in Rochester, NY, on February 3rd. The APWA Projects of the Year Awards recognize outstanding achievements in completion of a public works project. The Orleans County contingent was represented at the dinner by Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum trustees Peg Wiley, Bill Karcher, and committee member Nancy Karcher. The Oak Orchard Lighthouse project was awarded the 2010 Historic Restoration Project of the Year for projects under 5 million dollars. The award puts the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Project in line for the APWA New York State award for the same category, which according to John Paul Sheppe, an engineer on the project, ” has a good chance to win due to its uniqueness”.

The re-construction of the Oak Orchard Lighthouse, initiated by private citizens in 2002, became a public project when the Orleans County Marine Park became the site for the project, in partnership with Orleans County and NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Funding for the project included private fundraising and a 50/50 matching EPF Grant as well as funding sponsored by Senator George Maziarz and Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

Chatfield Engineers, Rochester, NY, provided engineering for the project and architect Thomas Simbari, Simbari Designs, Rochester, recreated the historic structure utilizing a 1909 survey along with extensive research into historic Great Lakes lighthouse structures. Through the public bid process, construction services were provided by Nathaniel General Contractors, Rochester. The survey by the U.S. Government was preserved at the National Archives in Washington, DC. The original lighthouse was destroyed by a December gale in 1916, after being decommissioned.

Rewarding

Written By: Dick - Dec• 18•10

As President of the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum Board of Trustees, I am afforded the opportunity of acting as a docent at the Lighthouse when we are able to keep it open. It is such a joy to great families and tell them stories of the Lighthouse and lighthouse keeper. I would encourage anyone interested in becoming a docent and helping present our beautiful Lighthouse to visitors from all over the US and even foreign countries.Dick

Welcome to the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Blog

Written By: admin - Dec• 15•10

Welcome to the new Oak Orchard Lighthouse blog! We’ve recently updated our website to include several new features including this blog. The blog will be used to post newsworthy items as well as archive past items.

The Board of Directors is especially grateful to Jamie Bragg for contributing her talents and skills for our initial web presence. And, Gregg Squicciarini for the more recent updates. We have now contracted with Lynne Menz Designs, a resident of Point Breeze and active member of the Oak Orchard Community to lend her creativity to the mix.

We are also especially grateful to Gene & Joey Haines, our lighthouse neighbors who are graciously  keeping an eye on the lighthouse, literally. Their “Lighthouse Cam” is directed at the lighthouse and displayed on the “Live” page of our website in real time. You can view a static image or streaming video. A real treat to our Friends of the OOLH or “snowbirds” getting a real “bird’s eye view” from many miles away!

Our Gift Shop has a variety of Lighthouse memorabilia and new collectibles. Items will be added frequently so check back often. You can also sign up for an annual or a lifetime membership. All payment transactions are secured using Paypal.

Check our our Gallery often too as we’ll be adding new pictures often.

We welcome you to peruse the new website and offer your suggestions or comments in the “Contact” page.

Oak Orchard Lighthouse on Great Lakes Seaway Trail

Written By: Peg - Dec• 06•10

It’s official! The Oak Orchard Lighthouse is now a destination on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. After 8 years of fund-raising and promotion, the full scale historic replica of the lighthouse that once graced the mouth of the Oak Orchard Harbor at Point Breeze in Orleans County has been completed. Since the June 2010 completion date, over 800 persons from around the world have signed the Visitor Book. Many more visited during off hours and museum trustees estimate 1,000-2,000 visited the lighthouse in 2010. With Great Lakes Seaway Trail recognition and promotion, many more thousands are expected.

The light, under operation from April 1 to November 1, is recognized as a Private Aid to Navigation, or “PATN” and operates under regulation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Department of the Coast Guard with a 2 nautical mile range limit. While the regulated light is darkened until April 1 have decorated the exterior structure for the holidays, complete with a holiday tree in the gallery. Holiday lighting will continue until mid-January.

The Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum Committee continues to raise funds to secure a suitable site to construct a museum to preserve maritime history of the area and region. Plans include a bootleg room, a room dedicated to the International Snipe Class racing sailboat, and celebration of an incident that occurred at the harbor during the War of 1812. Subjects such as these have a solid place in history in the Point Breeze and Western New York areas, with more stories yet to be told.

There are many opportunities to join in the effort to complete the work at the lighthouse site as well as help with museum goals. Individual, Family & Lifetime memberships are available. Personalized bricks for $50 continue to be sold for placement in the memorial walkway at the lighthouse site, start date early spring 2011. The museum committee seeks members to help out at fund-raising events and activities, and to act as docents when the lighthouse re-opens for visitors April 1.

For more information on how you can be a part of this exciting project, please go to www.oakorchardlighthouse.org or call Dick at 941-741-8042 or Peg at 585-682-4552. To see us on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, go to www.seawaytrail.com/lighthouse.

The Oak Orchard Lighthouse is Dedicated

Written By: Dick - Jun• 26•10

The Oak Orchard Lighthouse was dedicated June 26, 2010. With several members of the community, OOLH Museum trustees and dignitaries on hand, the ribbon cutting ceremony was the highlight of the 7 year project.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the OOLH

(Stay tuned for more details…)

February Construction start on Oak Orchard Lighthouse

Written By: Peg - Jan• 10•10

Representatives from the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Committee and Chatfield Engineers met with Nathaniel Development Corporation, Orleans County Tourism, and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation on January 8th to nail down final details and start date to rebuild the historic Oak Orchard Lighthouse at Oak Orchard Harbor on Lake Ontario. Nathaniel Development Corporation of Rochester, New York was awarded the project with a bid of $163,984.00.

OOLH Reconstruction by Nathaniel General ContractorsNathaniel expects to break ground mid-late February, with a final completion date of June 1st. This is good news for tourists & boaters, western New York, and the Orleans County community. Located on the Seaway Trail and within the Western Erie Canal Heritage Corridor, Oak Orchard Harbor, well known for its first class fishery, will once again have a lighthouse to mark its harbor after 94 years. The original lighthouse, built in 1871 on the harbor’s west side on a pier almost 1000′ from shore, was abandoned by the Federal Government in 1905. It rapidly fell into disrepair and by 1916 a December squall swept away what remained of the structure.The tower light, thought not Coast Guard regulated, will approximate the intensity of a streetlight, and at 32′ tall, the historic replica will stand as a monument to help guide sea travelers to safe harbor. The original steel oil house will be returned to the harbor on permanent loan by the historic Cobblestone Museum in Gaines, New York, where it has been carefully housed for many years.

The National Archives in Washington, DC provided the historic documents that made this replication possible. The original light was of the 4th Order, the fresnel illuminating apparatus by Barbier, Benard & Turenne, of Paris, France, described as a ’360 degree lens lantern’…’fixed white’…with a ’5-day tank attachment’. The inside diameter of the central drum was 11-13/16”, with 3 prisms above and 3 prisms below. Though a replacement for the original light could not be operational in the lighthouse, the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum plans on seeking one to display in its future museum.

Personalized, engraved bricks to grace the circular walkway at the site are available for $50. The walkway will include a sitting area with local Medina sandstone benches crafted by George Graham, one of the last stone-cutters. The stone was salvaged from old sidewalks from the nearby historic Erie Canal Village of Albion. The walkway will eventually feature a compass rose of native Medina sandstone and blue and white granite. A Children’s Peace Garden providing food and cover for migratory birds is included in future planning.

Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum Committee is Awarded an Important Grant

Written By: Peg - May• 28•09

The Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum Committee is very pleased to announce they have been awarded a an important and critical grant that will enable reconstruction to begin of the Oak Orchard Lighthouse at Point Breeze, Oak Orchard Harbor, Orleans County. The $85,000 Environmental Protection Fund award matches local funds raised by the committee for the historic reconstruction. The total estimated cost for the timber-framed historically correct structure, with accompanying site elements consisting of the Children’s Peace Garden, the circular brick walkway with compass rose and benches carved of native Medina Stone, is estimated at $170,000.

The realization of this project to Orleans County promises to revitalize the area by drawing heritage travelers along the Seaway Trail and the Western Erie Canal Heritage Corridor. This project is one of many in the western New York area focused on creating a tourism and recreation based economy by re-creating their rich history and heritage for public benefit and community enhancement. Upon completion of the lighthouse, the committee will focus on establishment of a maritime museum to promote local and regional history.

The Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum Receives a Committed Grant of $25,000!

Written By: Peg - Dec• 17•06

The Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum is pleased to announce the support of Senator Maziarz in their quest to rebuild history with the construction of the Oak Orchard Lighthouse at Point Breeze in Carlton. A grant of $25,000 has been committed for the project, expected to break ground in 2007. The project, which was initiated in 2003 by a group of volunteers dedicated to restoring the maritime history of the area, has attained significant milestones in the 3-1/2 years since its inception. These include the establishment of the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum under a provisional charter granted by the New York State Education Department’s Board of Regents and status as 501c3 not-for-profit organization.

These milestones validate the historical and educational value of the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum and its goals to the community here in Orleans County. The show of support from Senator Maziarz highlights the value of our area as a tourist destination. When constructed, the Oak Orchard Lighthouse will attract visitors and history seekers along the Seaway Trail, and enhance Orleans County’s harbor entrance at Point Breeze.