The Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum, a not-for-profit corporation provisionally chartered under the New York State Education Department, Board of Regents in November, 2004 has been responsible for raising the funds and arranging for this accomplishment. Through cooperative efforts between the
Museum board, Orleans County officials and the NYS Department of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation an agreement was reached permitting the construction and maintenance of the Lighthouse and surrounding elements on a part of the Orleans County Marine Park. The park located at Point Breeze on the east side near the mouth of the Oak Orchard River at Lake Ontario, is owned by the State of New York and leased by Orleans County. The plans for reconstructing this historically accurate replica were also made possible by the following:
- Engineered by Chatfield Engineers and Thomas Simbari of Simbari Design architects, both of Rochester, NY.
- Nathaniel General Contractors of Rochester who began constructing the lighthouse in February 2010.
- Snyder and Snyder, carpenters from the Syracuse, NY area built the structure using old time timber frame methods
- Suburban Electric of Albion, NY donated their services for the electrical work
- Members of the Oak Orchard Yacht Club donated the funds for installation of the light
- DA Tufts Construction of Batavia, NY for the walkway construction.
The Oak Orchard Lighthouse, built by community determination, is located on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, a National Scenic Byway, and the Western Erie Canal Heritage Corridor. Funding has been raised through donations by individuals, families and businesses, fund raising events, and through grants such as the Orleans County Foundation, Molly Lee Foundation, a matching Environmental Protection Fund Grant, and a member item from Senator George Maziarz and Assemblyman Steve Hawley for the benefit of the community, region and New York State.
As part of our continuing commitment to provide historical and educational events for the public, the Museum has presented annual dinners with guest speakers such as Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville, underwater explorers who have discovered many ancient shipwrecks in Lake Ontario near Point Breeze. Historical dramatizations have also been presented at the dinners.
Work remains on the grounds surrounding the Lighthouse. The memorial walkway composed of hundreds of bricks sponsored by donors, was installed and we’re still looking for sponsors for the compass rose and benches crafted from Medina Sandstone. The benches were created by internationally known stone craftsman, George Graham, of Batavia, NY. A Children’s Peace Garden was installed with plantings beneficial to migratory bird populations that pass through the area. Volunteers maintain it.
Most importantly a building will be acquired or constructed near Point Breeze to serve as the physical Museum, housing documents, photos, exhibits and memorabilia related to the general and maritime history of Point Breeze, Oak Orchard Harbor, and the surrounding region. The Museum will continue to provide educational programming to the public as well as preserve the heritage of the Point Breeze/Oak Orchard Region.
This project has been a community effort and relies on volunteers, fund raising revenue and donations from the public for all phases. Please visit our Gift Shop online or at the Lighthouse (during summer hours).