The Oak Orchard Lighthouse project is making great progress, with the recent hiring of Chatfield Engineers, of Greece, New York. The committee met with Chatfield and representatives of New York State Office of Parks and Recreation and Orleans County on Monday, April 10 at the Albion Visitor Center to firm up the agreement. Chatfield will engineer, design and assist with the construction of the replica lighthouse that will be built at the county-leased state owned park located at the northeast tip of Oak Orchard Harbor, in Point Breeze (Carlton) on Lake Ontario. The 501c3 not-for-profit Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum Committee anticipates the structure to be up no later than 2007. Funds are expected from grants and the continued support from the public. Successful fundraising through dinner dances, sales of lighthouse related items, donations and memberships have brought the grass-roots community project to reality.
Along with bringing more tourism to Orleans County, the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum, chartered under the New York State Education Department, will promote and preserve the rich maritime history of the area through educational programming opportunities. It is hoped the local project will tie the Erie Canal and Seaway Trail, to create a unique tourist destination. The Erie Canal and Lake Ontario are only 8.5 miles distant from each other in Orleans, with many points of interest along the way. This is the closest the Erie Canal comes to Lake Ontario in New York State, creating opportunities for the canal towns of Orleans, as well as the harbor area.