Welcome to Sodus, NY
Update: 3 May 2013. Sodus Point is very excited to be commemorating the bicentennial of the Battle of Sodus Point which took place on June 19, 1813. A schedule of bicentennial events has been planned for this summer, sponsored by the Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum in partnership with the Neighborhood Association. We will also have a new exhibition highlighting the Battle of Sodus Point opening at the Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum.
The Township of Sodus is located on the shoreline of Lake Ontario in northern Wayne County. Route 104 spans the township and links us with Rochester and Syracuse in less than one hour. A 20 minute drive on Route 14 which runs north and south through Lyons is a direct route to the Thruway (Interstate 90). Also to our south on Route 88 is Newark. Both Newark and Lyons are located on the historic Erie Canal.
The Sodus Williamson Airport serves corporate customers as well as providing private flying lessons. The 3,800 ft hard surface asphalt runway has modern lighting and taxiways. The U.S. Coast Guard has a storage facility there and flies search and rescue missions as needed. The Ontario Midland Railroad runs along Route 104 for approximately 56 miles and carries food products, lumber, fertilizer, pulpboard and chemicals to and serves the commercial needs of the community
The Town is comprised of two villages; Sodus and Sodus Point, as well as the hamlets of Alton, Joy, Sodus Center, South Sodus, and Wallington. The main industry is fruit orchards of apples, cherries, peaches, and prunes. Many of the farms make their produce available to the public in farm markets along the roadsides. Tourism along Lake Ontario and Great Sodus Bay is the second largest industry. Many related enterprises, such as marinas, fishing charters and excursions abound. Some of our commercial enterprises include Dynalec Corp, Pace Electronics, and Heluva Good Cheese.
Reminders of our past are visible in the Wallington Cobblestone School, which is in the National Register of Historic Places, as well as numerous cobblestone homes. The Shaker religious settlement at Alasa Farms is now home to the Cracker Box Palace which is a farm animal sanctuary.
Sodus Point provides an ideal starting point for sailing, swimming, or golfing. The area offers fishing in winter or summer for some of the best Coho Salmon, Lake, Brown, or Rainbow Trout. The Sodus Bay Lighthouse, built in 1824, has an excellent maritime museum and the view of the white sandy beach and Chimney Bluffs in the distance is spectacular. Camp Beechwood and Camp DeMolay are both now open to the public (see article at bottom of page.)
Wintertime brings the swish of skiing downhill at Brantling Hill, the roar of the snowmobiles or the solitude of ice fishing. Shopping may be done at any one of the of the many unique shops and stores in the area such as the Heluva Good Cheese Country Store which features it¡¦s own Heluva Good Cheese.
Restaurants are many and varied. You can enjoy both casual and fine dining – prime rib, German potato salad or hot dogs and ice cream sundaes. Many taverns feature live entertainment and local talent.
Sodus Central School provides sound education, as well as the BOCES Vocational Center. The Sodus Community Library features free wi fi and is augmented by the Pioneer Library System that guarantees the most up-to-date information and books, and is nationally recognized as a Top Ten American Library.
Emergency services are handled by the N.Y. State certified ambulance corps from Sodus, Sodus Center, Alton, and Sodus Point. Fire protection comes from the five individual fire companies, and the local police are reinforced by the Wayne County Sheriff or the NY State Police.
About a year ago, I announced that the Town of Sodus signed a 15 year agreement with the State of New York to assume management responsibilities for Camp Beechwood. This contract did not require a single dollar in capitol outlay from the Town and permits the Town to make improvements, perform general upkeep of the premises and utilize the 350 acre property at our discretion.
With the help of many volunteers, the progress being made at Camp Beechwood over the past months has been dramatic. The Alasa Academy has made a substantial contribution to park improvements with help from Craig Wollesen and Boy Scout Troop 111. Scarlet Thread and other organizations and individuals have pitched in as well. Most recently, the Sodus Chapter of the Lion’s Club tackled a major roof project on the old “Mess Hall”. With skilled oversight from Darrell Minier, the Lions have generously donated both materials and labor to complete this work. Resident carpenter Kim Buell has spent countless hours on Beechwood as well, making structural improvements to various buildings. Councilman Mike Boone has donated necessary signage and Councilman Bob DeBadts donated the use of a 4 place, enclosed snowmobile trailer for summer activities. I too, have been putting in weekend time on the park with my bucket tractor and bush hog. Our plan is to resurrect Camp Beechwood using minimal or no local tax dollars and as I’ve mentioned, the community response to help has been phenomenal.
For over 10 years, under NYS ownership, Camp Beechwood was allowed to become dilapidated. As part of the Town takeover, one of our first objectives was to secure the park and attempt to minimize vandalism. In addition, out-of-control vehicle traffic, wheeled campers, dangerous bonfires, littering, etc., all threatened the pristine environment that is the essence of Camp Beechwood. Therefore, the Town recently cleared a large parking area just off Lake Road and installed a steel gate to prevent unauthorized vehicle traffic from entering the park beyond this point. The old “Girl Scout” portion of the property is now accessible by foot 24/7, with special shuttling provisions possible in some situations.
After advertising and conducting interviews with all 6 applicants, the Town Board made a final decision and hired a Caretaker for Camp Beechwood. It was not an easy decision, but after much consideration, local resident and business owner Trevor Davey was offered the job. Although he will not receive a salary, Trevor was given use of the house (included in the state agreement) in return for basic oversight of the park. His responsibilities will include: general maintenance and grooming, supervision of volunteer efforts, scheduling, gate keeping, security, etc.
For the sake of clarification:
At this point in time, the Town is solely responsible for and liable for all activities taking place at Camp Beechwood. Any offers to volunteer should be directed to the Caretaker (Trevor’s cell number is 315-290-2039). All members of the public are welcome to walk or picnic on Beechwood at their leisure. Dogs are fine if kept on a leash. Overnight stays either in a park lean-to or tent are permitted, but must be registered with the Caretaker. Hunting is not currently allowed. All personal items are “carry in and carry out”. Vandals, litterers or any unlawful conduct will be subject to prosecution.
Currently, there is no charge for use of Camp Beechwood. Donations are essential however, if we are to continue restoration efforts. Therefore, a special Beechwood account has been established by the Town to accept contributions. Donations will be used strictly for park improvements and can be submitted to the Town by calling 315-483-4430.
++ Camp DeMolay information:
Historic Camp DeMolay on Lake Road in Sodus Point and features 17 acres overlooking spectacular Lake Ontario, with several buildings including a 1500 sq ft meeting hall with a fully equipped kitchen in the Lodge, both men’s and ladies rest rooms with running water and showers, BBQ grills, (not to mention bunk houses). For more information on Camp DeMolay rentals, contact the Masonic Service Bureau at 585-671-9730 or visit their web site at www.monroemasonic.com