On Aug. 7, 1789, Congress passed an Act for the establishment and support of lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers. Two hundred years later, the National Lighthouse Day was established, a day designated to encourage dedication to preserving these historic structures. And what a better way to honor this national holiday than to give a nod to Long Island’s 25 lighthouses dotted along more than 400 miles of shoreline.
It’s true, Long Island is home to some of the most beautiful and architecturally diverse lighthouse structures in the United States; many allow visitors to climb to the light tower and enjoy the panoramic ocean views, such as Horton Point and Fire Island, along with Montauk Point, which was commissioned by George Washington in 1796.
Many others are accessible by private tour and ferry cruises, such as the Cross Sound Ferry (www.longislandferry.com), departing most days from New London for a two-hour cruise around the sound.
For more about Cross Sound Ferry’s lighthouse cruises, see: Sightseeing In The Sound
All Along The Island’s Watchtowers
• Cedar Island Lighthouse at Cedar Point County Park in East Hampton
• Cold Spring Harbor Lighthouse at Centre Island in Cold Spring Harbor
• Coney Island (Norton Point) in Brooklyn
• Eaton’s Neck at the Coast Guard Station at the opening of Huntington Bay
• Execution Rocks Lighthouse, near Port Washington
• Fire Island at Robert Moses State Park
• Gardiners Point* destroyed in a storm in 1894 in East Hampton
• Horton Point Lighthouse on Lighthouse Road in Southold
• Huntington Harbor Lighthouse at 324 W. Shore Rd. in Huntington
• Latimer Reef Lighthouse, Fishers Island in Southold
• Little Gull Island Lighthouse, East Plum Island in Southold
• Lloyd Harbor* destroyed by fire in 1947, in Huntington
• Long Beach Bar “Bug” on Long Beach Bar marking the entrance to Peconic Bay
• Montauk Point State Park at 2000 Montauk Hwy., on the eastern end of Long Island
• New Bedford (ex-Fire Island) Lightship
• North Dumpling Lighthouse just North of Fisher’s Island
• Old Field Point west of the entrance to Port Jefferson Harbor, Brookhaven
• Orient Point “Coffee Pot” in Plum Gut between Orient Point and Plum Island
• Plum Island Lighthouse on the West side of Plum Island
• Port Jefferson Harbor East Breakwater* damaged, near Brookhaven
• Race Rock Lighthouse near the West end of Fishers Island
• Sands Point (Mitchill), North Hempstead
• Shinnecock Bay (Great West Bay, Ponquogue Point)* toppled by the Coast Guard in 1948 in Southampton
• Stepping Stones near U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point
• Stratford Shoal (Middle Ground) Brookhaven
The commemorative day is not permanently designated by Congress, but National Lighthouse Day is celebrated by lighthouse organizations nationwide, recognizing the importance of America’s lighthouse heritage, the beacons of light that symbolize safety and security to seafarers.
Visit the United States Lighthouse Society’s website (www.uslhs.org) for more information about lighthouses nationally and check out Robert Muller’s website (www.longislandlighthouses.com) for in-depth information about Long Island lighthouses.