Lighthouse History

In 1824 Congress appropriated $4,500 to construct a lighthouse tower and keeper's residence at Sodus Bay.  A year later, Ishmael D. Hill, a veteran of the War of 1812, was appointed as its first keeper. 

Painting of the 1825 Lighthouse Tower and Keeper's Residence


By 1869, both structures had deteriorated to the extent that Congress appropriated $14,000 to build a second lighthouse to replace the original tower.  This second stone lighthouse building, with its attached tower and Fresnel lens, was completed in 1871 and became the residence of Sodus Lighthouse Keepers for the next 80 years.  This same lighthouse is still preserved in excellent condition, and has been run as a Maritime Museum by the Sodus Bay Historical Society in accordance with an agreement and lease from the Town of Sodus since 1984.

Painting of the 1871 Lighthouse with Attached Residence