THE HISTORY OF THE
MONTAUK LIGHTHOUSE


Indian Paint Pots, indigenous from
"MONTAUK POINT"
Recovered from the beach at Montauk Point, Circa 1970

The two sandstone figures above, one looking like a
small Indian pottery bowl, and the other, somewhat like a
fish head with its mouth wide open, were found on Montauk Point,
during the 1970's , as I was walking the beach, looking for
unusual shells and such.

I kept them in my "Sea Collection"  for quite some time, and
after reading historical pieces on the Lighthouse, and finding out
that the structure was made of
"SANDSTONE"
I assumed that they may have been from the original Lighthouse construction,
or from later renovations, and after laying on the beach, for some time,
were carved, by Mother Nature, into the natural shapes shown.

Well as it turns out, they are indigenous items from Montauk,
however, they are not from the "Sandstone" used to create the Lighthouse.

Thanks to a very well known professor, from a very well known university,
who wished to remain anonymous, the figures above were identified as
"INDIAN PAINT POTS"
Looking almost exactly like "Sandstone" , these figures were created
naturally from a different composition than the Lighthouse material.
These "Sandstone Concretions", contained clay deposits, and the
Indians collected them from the beaches, or dug them from the cliffs, to
obtain their clay deposits to paint their pots before firing.

The combination of the Yellow/Orange/Brown coloration is from
the hardening of "IRON" in there composition.
These "Paint Pots" were formed within the the era of the
"GLACIAL TILL"
and after many years eroded out.

Many thanks to the Professor who brought this information
to our attention!!!!
We hope you enjoy your collection of these natural, and
wonderful items as we have!!!!

SO NOW GREAT HISTORY AWAITS
PLEASE READ ON!!!


"THE MONTAUK POINT LIGHTHOUSE"
Over 200 years ago, President George Washington ordered Congress to
make appropriations for the construction of a Lighthouse, on a bluff,
at Montauk Point.

"SANDSTONE"
from Connecticut was used to construct the then 78' octagonal tower,
297' from the edge of the cliff.
In 1860 the Lighthouse Tower was rebuilt to its present configuration, adding
14' to the height of the masonry tower and raising the
focal plane of the light to 160' above sea level.

Also added in 1860, were the two-story light keeper's dwelling and
an oil house to store oil for the lamp's lens.
Other structures were subsequently erected, including a fog signal house, 1897,
which now contains the automated equipment that monitors an electric
fog horn and the beacon, and the Coast Artillery Fire Tower,
built in 1942, as part of the
"EASTERN COASTAL DEFENSE SHIELD"

Spotters in the tower were to coordinate artillery fire to
the 16" Cannons located nearby at
"FORT HERO"

Montauk was the first lighthouse in
"NEW YORK STATE"
and the forth oldest lighthouse in the United States.
Montauk Point Light has faithfully guided both the coastal traffic,
to and from Europe, and ships entering and leaving the
"LONG ISLAND SOUND"

Its Light characteristics have changed over the years, beginning in 1796
as a steady fixed light, changing about 100 years later to a flash
every two minutes, then to a flash every 10 seconds, now to a
rotation every 5 seconds.
Its present light is equivalent to 300,000 candle power and
can be seen for 19 nautical miles.

From its original "safety cushion" of about 300 feet from the cliff's edge,
erosion had narrowed the gap to 55 feet by 1970.
Since then a dedicated group of volunteers has managed to keep the
distance at the 1970 measure by terracing the cliff.

Today the Montauk Historical Society, a privately funded, non-profit
organization, maintains the lighthouse and its surrounding property.
A museum in the lighthouse is open to the public.
For more information contact the following website:


 

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