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2011 Heritage Award - Honorable Mention
Verona Beach Lighthouse
The Verona Beach Lighthouse was built during the construction of the Erie Barge Canal in 1915 to guide mariners from Oneida Lake to the Erie Canal. Yet after years of neglect this historic structure fell into disrepair and suffered from waste dumping, graffiti, and vandalism.
Thanks to a ten year effort by the Verona Beach Lighthouse Association, the Verona Beach Lighthouse, once forlorn and forgotten, again serves as a beacon on the shores of Oneida Lake. This historic preservation effort serves as a model for citizen action and community outreach.
Must See Attraction
If you visit Verona Beach or Sylvan Beach, a visit to the lighthouse is a must. The 84-foot high lighthouse has been beautifully restored and is handicap accessible. The site boasts expansive lake views with some of the best sunsets in New York State.
Statewide Model for Preservation & Advocacy
Lighthouse restoration was accomplished with persistence and partnerships. The Verona Beach Lighthouse Association forged strong, positive relationships with the Town of Verona and the New York State Canal Corporation to complete the project.
This once forgotten structure is now a much beloved community icon. A sustained campaign of outreach and engagement is behind the transformation. Volunteers removed 150 dump trucks of junk and spent countless hours to restore the lighthouse. Hard work is merged with fun and camaraderie as Association volunteers continue to promote and further enhance the lighthouse through participation in festivals, events, parades, speaking engagements, and volunteer work days.
The lighthouse provides a beacon for boaters, fishermen, snowmobilers, and lake rescue squads, as well as a place for weddings, prom pictures, and visitors who want to see a unique canal structure.