Montauk Lighthouse: The End of Long Island

"The end of Long Island"

“The end of Long Island”

Montauk Point Lighthouse was the first lighthouse in New York State, and is the fourth-oldest active lighthouse in the United States.  The tower is 110 ft. high, and the current light is the equivalent to approximately 290,000 candle power, flashing every 5 seconds and can be seen a distance of 17 nautical miles.

Construction on the lighthouse was authorized by the Second United States Congress, under President George Washington on April 12, 1792.  Construction began on June 7, 1796, and was completed on November 5, 1796, the first public works project of the United States of America.  The lighthouse was operated by civilian keepers until World War II.

During World War II, the lighthouse was taken over by the U.S. Army as part of the Eastern Coastal Defense Shield.  In 1946 the United States Coast Guard took over maintenance of the lighthouse and operated it until it became automated in 1987.

One of the most famous events which took place near the lighthouse was the seizure of The Amistad, a Spanish ship taken over by slaves in 1839.  The ship was en route to America, when the slaves on board rebelled, and took over the vessel.  La Amistad was captured by the USS Washington near here.  The slaves were allowed to briefly disembark here before arrested and taken to New London, Connecticut to stand trial.  The Amistad case went before the Supreme Court of the United States.  John Quincy Adams successfully argued that the slaves had been kidnapped and they were permitted to return to Africa. The case fanned the debate over abolition of slavery.  This dramatic event was depicted in Steven Spielberg’s 1997 film, Amistad, which retold the story of the slave ship uprising.

"I can see it!  I can see the lighthouse!"

“I can see it! I can see the lighthouse!”

I love this place, not just because it is so old, but because of the ambiance.  I mean, who doesn’t love the nautical feel of seeing a lighthouse at the far end of a long strip of land, guiding ships into port safely?  To know that places like this still exist, even in an age of technology, does bring about a feeling of nostalgia and comfort in a modern age.  You know, on a really clear day, if you go to the top, and keep a sharp eye on the horizon, you can see all the way to either Connecticut or Rhode Island.

"Still Standing..."

“Still Standing…”

 

Phone:

631-668-2544

Toll Free:

1-888-Mtk-Point (outside 631 Area Code)

Fax:

631-668-2546

Email:

keeper@montauklighthouse.com

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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