In 1829, the U.S. Government erected two parallel piers out into Lake Ontario. Over the years, sand accumulated on west side of the western pier from the force of the waves, creating Ontario Beach.
In 1838, a permanent lighthouse was built at the far end of the west pier. Several other lighthouses were built later, and a fog signal was added in the 1890s. In addition, a catwalk was installed to help the Charlotte Genesee Lighthouse keeper service the light on the pier.
In the 1930s, a red steel light tower with a siren was erected and maintained by the Coast Guard. Known as “Big Red,” this light was torn down in 1994, to prevent daredevils from jumping off into the lake. It was replaced with a beacon light atop the white and red cylinder you see now.
Tap a thumbnail to see historic photos which include the pier, taken more than 100 years ago by Albert Stone.