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June 12, 2017

'Three Sisters' Lighthouses Celebrate 100 Years of Watching Over Oneida Lake

ONEIDA LAKE -Bring the whole family to celebrate the centennial of the Three Sisters lighthouses of Oneida Lake on Sunday, July 2! The event runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Rear Range Lighthouse Park at778county Route 37 in Brewerton, town of Hastings, Oswego County.

Enjoy live entertainment, a chicken barbecue presented by the Central Square Band Boosters Club, and a children's fishing tournament led by Bartell Road Bait and Tackle. The contestruns from noon to 2 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony. Solar Sal offers free rides on a solar-powered canal boat which will circleFrenchman's Island for views of that lighthouse. Oswego Expeditions provides free kayak paddling adventures.

The commemoration is made possible in part by a $500 grant through the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

"Thanks to the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, we were able to promote this wonderful family-friendly event," said Louella LeClair, director of community development and tourism for the town of Hastings. "We're celebrating not only the Three Sisters' centennial, but also the bicentennial of the Erie Canal, which these lighthouses serve as well."

She added, "We also owe much gratitude to the Rich family of Hastings for helping toimprove the Rear Range Lighthouse Park. They donated a new pavilionin memory of Jack Rich that will help with the day's festivities and benefit the community as a whole in the future."

Jon T. "Jack" Rich was a councilman on the Town Board of Hastings as well as chairman of its planning board. He also served as the unofficial "parks commissioner," leading the charge to develop town properties into the beautiful areas they are today. As Rich was particularly fond of the lighthouse park, the pavilion was installed with a plaque that reads, 'Donated by Jon T. Rich family and employees'."

The Three Sisters lighthouses are located in Brewerton, on Frenchman's Island and at Verona Beach. Since 1917, the beacons have guided commercial and recreational watercraft along the 22-mile stretch of Oneida Lake. The largest body of water located entirely within New York State, the lake serves as a connection between the Erie Canal and the Oswego Canal.

The Verona Beach Lighthouse Association joins the town of Hastings and the Fort Brewerton/Greater Oneida Lake Chamber of Commerce with centennial festivities. That lighthouse will be open from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 2.

On Monday, July 3, families can continue the celebration with Independence Day festivities at Riverfront Parkin Brewerton. From noon to 6 p.m., there will be an outdoor arts and crafts festival combined with a Kids Zone play area which features a dunk tank. Try your hand at dunking your favorite teacher, school official, pastor, or business owner. Stay on for "Fireworks on the River" presented by the Fort Brewerton/Greater Oneida Lake Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Billy Whittaker Cars and Trux. The annual spectacular begins at dusk.

A French and Indian War encampment is scheduled to take place Friday, June 30 to Monday, July 3 at Fort Brewerton on U.S. Route 11. For details, call the fort at 315-668-8801.

For more information about the Three Sisters' commemoration, contact Louella LeClair at (315) 591-2627 or louellaleclair@gmail.com. For questions about Independence Day activities at Riverfront Park, contact the Fort Brewerton/Greater Oneida Lake Chamber of Commerce at 315-668-3408 or info@oneidalakechamber.com.

CELEBRATING HISTORY - Bring the family to join in the centennial celebration of the Three Sisters lighthouses along Oneida Lake! Festivities run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 2 in the Rear Range Lighthouse Park, 778 county Route 37, Brewerton. For details, call 315-591-2627. Photo of the Rear Range Lighthouse courtesy of Louella LeClair.

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