Trustees of the Lighthouse Board of the Oak Orchard Lighthouse and Museum in Upstate New York, are anxiously awaiting news of the status of the EPF matching grant submitted to New York State Parks in 2008. Application was made to a grant fund supporting Parks, Recreation, and Historical Preservation in their area. It is a matching grant, meaning that should they receive it, the grant would double the amount raised to the time of the application. At the time it was applied for, they had raised (through pledges, grants, memberships, and fund-raisers) approximately $85,000. Double that and they would have available $170,000, which is what they need to begin construction. The group hopes to find out soon if they have received the grant.
So what are they constructing? (See the January-February 2005 issue of Lighthouse Digest for more information.) The original Oak Orchard Lighthouse was destroyed by a storm in 1916. Supporters want to reconstruct, from scratch, the lighthouse as faithfully as possible to the original. Along with the light, they want to establish a museum facility for historic displays and research involving the maritime history of the region and the area surrounding Oak Orchard Harbor and Point Breeze, NY.
The Oak Orchard Lighthouse Memorial Walkway will take a circular path, to remind us all of the circle of life and how important the footprints we leave are to history and to our future. Four-inch by eight-inch bricks will permanently line the pathway, etched with names, special messages, memorials, and memories. From everywhere in the park, visitors will delight at watching boats traversing the harbor, the many moods of Lake Ontario, and the glorious sunsets on the western shore.
Starting near the walkway from the parking area in the lower part of the picture, the memorial brick walkway circles around the comfort station. Traveling to the right takes you past the flagpole, toward the lake and past the peace garden to the board ramp representing the elevated walk leading to the lighthouse. To the right of the lighthouse is the original black cast iron fuel building that stood on shore near the end of the original pier leading to the lighthouse. Continuing back from the lighthouse and around the side of the walkway near the mouth of the river, you arrive at the decorative Compass Rose with its surround Medina sandstone benches.
You can play a part in bringing a piece of history back to the Oak Orchard Lighthouse. Buy a brick for the memorial walkway, or sponsor part of the installation of the Compass Rose and surrounding benches.
www.oakorchardlighthouse.org, Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum, 14357 Ontario St., P.O. Box 23, Kent, NY 14477-0023, (585) 682-4383, Dick Anderson, President.
This story appeared in the
April 2009 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.
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