Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum seeks donations after fundraiser cancelled

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Oak Orchard Lighthouse is shown in September 2018 at the shore of Lake Ontario in Point Breeze.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 October 2020 at 9:55 am

Group also selling memberships, memorial bricks

POINT BREEZE — The Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum is asking for the community’s help to make up for lost revenue after its biggest fundraiser was cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The museum, which owns and oversees the lighthouse at Point Breeze, runs on a  shoe string budget, said Dick Anderson, the group’s president.

Visitors to the lighthouse are welcome to the climb the stairs to the top.

But it does have insurance costs and this summer paid $1,200 to have the 35-foot-high structure cleaned and given a new fresh coat of linseed oil.

Anderson is urging people to purchase a lifetime membership or buy a memorial brick. The museum is offering a deal on a lifetime membership at $250, instead of the usual $500. People can also buy a family membership at $35.

The museum has been selling memorial bricks for $75 near the lighthouse with lines on the brick. There are souvenirs also available for purchase at the museum.

The site opened with volunteered this summer in mid-July, later than usual due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Anderson said the museum insists that visitors wear masks and social distance.

They are welcome to go inside the lighthouse and climb the stairs to the top.

This year about 1,000 people have stopped by the lighthouse. Normally volunteers greet 2,000 to 3,000 people during the season.

“We talk about the location and the area,” Anderson said about the role of the volunteers.

The lighthouse offers a vantage point of the Oak Orchard Harbor. The lighthouse includes a modern LED light that is lit at night from April 1 to Nov. 1.

They are usually on site Fridays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., a busy time with Black North Inn customers getting their fish fries. The museum also is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

Anderson expects this weekend will be the last one for volunteers at the site this year as the weather begins to turn colder.

Anderson, a retired science teacher at Spencerport, said he has met many interesting people volunteering at the museum. He is proud of the community for supporting the site, including the initial fundraising efforts to build the lighthouse.

The lighthouse was constructed in 2010, after $200,000 was raised from the community. The state also provided assistance with the project.

The 35-foot lighthouse is a replica to one that toppled in 1916 after a storm. The Oak Orchard Lighthouse has become an iconic symbol for Orleans County and the Point. It is often featured on the cover of the county’s tourism guide.

For more information about the museum, click here for the group’s website. Anderson said people are welcome to call him with questions at (585) 682-4383 or by email at oolhdick@aol.com.

A check can be mailed to the museum at Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum, P.O. Box 23, Kent NY 14477.

Return to top