Olcott Harbor Light

 Olcott, NY, is a small community located on the southern shores of Lake Ontario at the north end of NY State Route 78. Word spread that Olcott was a pleasant summer resort and by 1861, people were traveling from Lockport and Buffalo to spend time on the banks of Lake Ontario. By 1875, there were three churches, a schoolhouse, a post office, three hotels with about 15 rooms each, two general stores, a meat market and a lumber yard in a village of 250 people.

In 1873 a square pyramid style lighthouse was constructed in Olcott NY on the western most Pier forming the harbor at Olcott. Two wooden piers formed the harbor, they Straddled 18 Mile Creek.18 Mile Creek is so named due to it's position 18 miles from the mouth of the Niagara River. Positioned at the end of the pier Olcott Light was nearly 800 feet out into Lake Ontario.

New concrete federal piers replaced the wooden piers in 1877 and the light was moved to the end of the new piers. By the turn of the century, hundreds of visitors were arriving in Olcott by steamer from Toronto, Rochester and other large cities. Attractions included a large amusement park, picnic grove, a 100-room hotel, and many private and rental cottages.

Much of the Olcott attractions were destroyed in a major fire in 1927. The Depression of the 1930's spelled an end to Olcott as a resort destination.

In the 1930s the light was decommissioned and removed from service, at that time it was relocated and stood at a local Yacht Club where it stood for about another 30 years. In the mid 1960s it was determined that the structure was in such disrepair it could not be restored and was therefore demolished.

In 2003 work began on a Full Scale recreation of the original light, using period photos as a guide. Today the 27 foot tall wooden lighthouse stands once again on the Lake Ontario shore near Olcott Beach.

Click on images to enlarge

Photograph by Jason Keklak

2009 Photos by Dave Wobser

Location: Olcott, New York
Date Built: Replica 2003
Active: No

Open to

Yes, Summer


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