Lighthouse History

The Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Museum is owned by the County of Monroe and run by the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Historical Society. The Society is an all volunteer, privately funded, non-profit organization.

The Tower
In 1821 after William Hincher's death, his wife, Mehetable sold three and one-third acres of her property to the U.S. Government for $400.00. The next year the Lighthouse tower and a two-room house for the keeper were constructed of stone. The tower was forty feet high and was equipped with ten Argand lamps fueled with whale oil. Old Lighthouse Photo connecting tower and building

Originally, the tower was close to the lake. In 1829 after the piers were built to prevent sand bars from forming across the river mouth, sand was deposited instead along the piers and a beach began to grow, leaving the tower farther from the lake each year.

In 1853 the tower was modernized by the installation of a fourth order Fresnel lens that replaced the ten Argand lamps. The wooden tower stairs were replaced by cast iron steps supported by a liner of bricks.

The present keeper's house was built in 1862 to replace the inadequate two room original structure. The roof was slate and the house had two chimneys which served as flues for stoves in several rooms. What appear to be bricked-up windows on the front facade were put there for balance. The windows were shuttered, and the shutters on those blank spaces would have been kept closed.

flowerbush in front of lighthouse

In the early 1880's the tower was deactivated and the lens was moved out to the west pier of the Genesee River. The Lighthouse has served as a museum since 1984.

The two-car garage has been converted into an exhibit center, primarily for the early history of the site. The first floor of the keeper's house is now a museum with displays about lighthouse lore, navigation and local history. Visitors are welcome to climb the tower.

Inside the 40-foot tower you can experience the life of the lighthouse keeper of the early 1800's as he climbed the 42 wrought iron steps of the tower to view the Genesee River, Lake Ontario and surrounding area.

Stair Tower Steps

Once you arrive at the top of the Tower, this is the view you will see looking North East

Panarama View from Top of Tower View North East

Photo from Coast Guard Historian - Shows Lighthouse with IVY on it. Date Unknown at this time.

Ivy cover over Tower & Keepers House

Tower view showing ivy growing up the side of it.

Tower view from East Tower View old


Inside Dining Room

inside dining room

Inside Living Room

inside living room

Inside Gift Shop ( Open from May thru October )