Photo taken from the East End of Robert Moses State Park,
Field Five, at Sunrise
Photo taken, early am, from the boardwalk leading to the "NUDE BEACH"
between Robert Moses State Park and the first Fire Island Town of Kismet
The Fire Island Lighthouse, located on Long
GREAT SOUTH BEACH
between the Atlantic Ocean, and The Great South Bay, and
between Robert Moses State Park, and the first
Fire Island Town of Kismet, New York.
The original octagonal tower was built in 1827,
and was 74' tall,
constructed at the entrance to Fire Island Inlet.
Its original optic was a first order "FRESNEL", with 18 lamps
and 15" reflectors flashing once per minute.
Its original cost, about 10,000 dollars.
In 1857 Congress ordered the lighthouse rebuilt,
40,000 dollars for its new construction.
The tower was raised to 168' , and constructed with brick covered with
cement and painted yellow.
In 1858 the new construction was complete, and the new light was lit.
A year later in 1859, a keepers dwelling was added.
Then in 1868, a telegraph station was added, operated by
The Western Union Company, to alert New York City
of the arrival of ships.
In 1891 the color of the tower was changed from yellow to
black and white stripes, two of each, 35' wide.
Many years later, in the 1920's , the Western
ceased its operations, and its structure was eventually destroyed
by a hurricane in 1938.
Then in 1939, the original first order fresnel was removed and the light
was electrified .
The new confiruration of the light lasted until the early 1970's when the
tower was considered beyond repair, and the light was deactivated, and
temporally replaced by a light added to the water tower
at Rober Moses State Park.
During this time demolition of the lighthouse was being considered until
it was saved by the formation of
THE LIGHT HOUSE PRESERVATION SOCIETY in 1982
The United States Coast Guard, who managed
the structure at the
time, turned the property over to the management of
the National Park Service.
With over a million dollars in donations, the Lighthouse
Preservation Society was able to renovate the light and
it was re-lit on May 26th, 1986
Although the lighthouse was originally built
at the entrance of
Fire Island Inlet, the natural formation of sand west of the structure
has now placed it approx 5 miles east of the tip of the inlet,
known as Democrat Point.
The lighthouse is still in operation as a fully
functional navigation device
and the Keepers Dwelling is now a museum open to the public.
This is a wonderful place to visit, with natural
views of birds, deer, wildlife,
the Lighthouse, the Atlantic Ocean, The Great South Bay,
Robert Moses State Park, and its Causeway,
all via the newly built boardwalks over the natural dunes,
connecting Field Five at Robert Moses, with the Beach and the
National Park Service Station.
Want to know more about Fire Island and its
Pickup a copy of this wonderful book
"FIRE ISLAND 1650 to 1980"
The history of Fire Island from
"SHELLS to MOTELS"
Madeleine C. Johnson
a Fire Island Resident for many years.
For more information on the Fireland Lighthouse
please contact the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society
"THE WIRELESS STATION"