MONTAUK POINT LIGHTHOUSE
The first lighthouse in New York State was authorized in 1792 by the Second Congress, under President George Washington. Construction began in early 1796 and was completed on November 5, 1796. The foundation was constructed of sandstone blocks from Connecticut. At the base of the 110-1/2 foot tower, the walls are six-feet thick; at the top they are three-feet thick. There are 137 iron steps to the top of the tower.
Montauk Point Lighthouse is the fourth oldest active lighthouse in the United States, and is New York States eastern-most lighthouse. Originally painted all white, the distinctive reddish-brown around the center was added in 1903. The lantern is painted black.
In 1987, the light was automated, and the bivalve Fresnel lens was replaced with a DCB-224 revolving airport beacon. The flashing white light appears every five-seconds, and can be seen a distance of 19 nautical miles.
When needed, the fog horn blasts its two-second warning every fifteen-seconds.
Montauk Point Lighthouse, from the parking lot.
Having arrived an hour after closing time, the only pictures we could get were from outside the fence.
From left to right: Fisherman
Memorial, World War II-era observation tower (fire control station),
former fog signal building, the 1796 tower, 1860 double keepers' dwelling and oil house.
The Fisherman Memorial
Legend has it that Captain Kidd
buried treasure on Montauk, at the foot
of the lighthouse, in what is today known as Money Ponds.
In 1839, the slave ship Amistad used the lighthouse as a guide to anchor at nearby Culloden Point. The ship had been commandeered by its slave cargo in Cuba. However, they trusted their former captors to safely navigate them back to Africa. Instead they landed near Montauk. The US Navy arrested the slaves ashore, and took them to Connecticut. Their case worked its way to the United States Supreme Court with John Quincy Adams representing the slaves. The high court ruled that the initial capture of the Africans was illegal and they were freed.
A replica of the black-and-white road shield for New York's Northern State
The signage, though different from the standard design of New York Parkways, is common
to all parkways on Long Island proper (not including Queens or Brooklyn).
Sign Image and text from: Montauk Point Light. (2008, June 24). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:35, August 2, 2008,
Last updated: August 2, 2008