Digest>Archives> April 2000

Olcott Light: Gone and Nearly Forgotten


You can see an enlarged version of this picture by clicking here.
>> Click to enlarge <<
Olcott Lighthouse, NY, gone but not forgotten. ...

Recently we came across an antique postcard of the Olcott Lighthouse, NY. Since we were unfamiliar with the lighthouse we did a little digging to find out about this old beacon. As we assumed the lighthouse had been long gone.

You can see an enlarged version of this picture by clicking here.
>> Click to enlarge <<
The Olcott Lighthouse has nearly been lost in the ...

Thanks to Clarence Adams of the Niagara County Historical Society we came up with a little history on the lighthouse.

Two piers were constructed on each end of the Eighteen Mile Creek in Olcott, NY during the period of 1870-1877. Each pier extended out over 1,800 feet into Lake Ontario, with the lighthouse on the end of the west pier. Total cost was $200,000.

Mr. Burt Van Horn was a member of Congress from Newfane, NY between 1860 and 1869 and he took a prominent role in the legislation during this period and is largely given credit for obtaining the funds which virtually built the port of Olcott.

At that time Olcott was a port of entry and many boats, especially from Canada, were frequent visitors. Grain was taken in and later loaded and shipped to Rochester and Oswego. A government customs inspector as well as the keeper of the lighthouse were stationed at Olcott. R.M. Mathews was a lighthouse keeper who served in that capacity for many years. Old stories indicated that he would always show up for work in his uniform.

Sometime between 1928 and 1932 the lighthouse had out-served its usefulness and was removed from the pier to the local Yacht Club. Apparently by 1963 the Yacht Club felt the lighthouse could not be saved or restored and dismantled it.

This story appeared in the April 2000 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

All contents copyright © 1995-2024 by Lighthouse Digest®, Inc. No story, photograph, or any other item on this website may be reprinted or reproduced without the express permission of Lighthouse Digest. For contact information, click here.

to Lighthouse Digest

USLHS Marker Fund

Lighthouse History
Research Institute

Shop Online

Subscribe   Contact Us   About Us   Copyright Foghorn Publishing, 1994- 2024   Lighthouse Facts     Lighthouse History