The Sodus Point Lighthouse

Old Sodus Light

This following information is from the Seaway Trail Lighthouses: An Illustrated Guide,
Published and distributed by: Seaway Trail, Inc.
202 Poucher Hall, SUNY Oswego
Oswego, New York 13126

"In 1824, local residents and lake captains joined together in an effort to establish a lighthouse on Great Sodus Bay. Their petition to the Congress was successful, resulting in the construction of a rough split stone tower and keeper's dwelling a year later. Similar in design to the lighthouses at Charlotte and Oswego, it was replaced by the existing lighthouse in 1870 when the need for extensive repairs was recognized. The limestone for the 45-foot square tower and attached two-and-a-half story dwelling was quarried in Kingston, Ontario, while the stone from the original lighthouse was used to construct a jetty to protect the site. Its tower was fitted with a fourth order Fresnel lens."

Old Sodus Light from the Outer Light Pier

"In 1834, the first piers were erected at the entrance to the bay and a beacon placed at the end. A permanent beacon was installed in 1870 in conjunction with the construction of the replacement lighthouse. In 1901, the Lighthouse Board determined that this beacon was sufficient and de-commissioned the shore light, although the keeper's house remained in use by the U.S. Coast Guard until 1984. At that time, the Coast Guard turned the historic lighthouse and its outbuildings over to the Town of Sodus Point."

To reach the lighthouse, take NY Rt. 104 to Rt. 14 North, into the villiage of
Sodus Point.  Turn left onto Ontarion Street.  Follow that to the light.
For information, phone 315-483-4936

Some important dates

1824 Act of Congress approves establishment of a Lighthouse on Great Sodus Bay ($4,500)
1825 Lighthouse built - 40-foot round tower, separate dwelling house of rough split stone.
1834 First piers erected. Beacon installed.
1868 Inspection of Lighthouse and dwelling shows extensive repairs needed. Some are made.
1869 Recommendation for new Lighthouse made.
1870 $14,000 appropriated by Congress for new Lighthouse and dwelling house.
1871 Work completed on June 30, 1871! Old tower and house removed to make rough jetty to
"protect bank from erosion."
1901 Light on Bluff (Lighthouse) discontinued. Dwelling house used as keepers house.
1977 Listed in National Registry of Historic Places.
1984 Lighthouse property given to the Town of Sodus.
1988 Bank rebuilt to retard erosion.
Maritime Museum dedicated July 4th.
1989 Bicentennial of U.S. Lighthouses.
1990 Dedicated D. Russell Chamberlain Maritime Library.

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