Enjoy a Piece of History with a Long Island Lighthouse Tour
While modern technology has replaced the classic lighthouse with animated beacons, many of the classic lighthouses are still standing and available for tours. Long Island is well known for two of its lighthouses. The Fire Island Lighthouse and the Montauk Lighthouse, but the area boasts over 2 dozen lighthouses. The best way to see the lighthouses and get a unique education on them is to take a lighthouse tour.
Fire Island lighthouse was completed in 1858. It is one of the tallest lighthouses around at 184 feet in height. It was decommissioned in 1973. Then in 1986 was restored and relit. It is still used as a private aid to navigation. Tours are available to go to the top of the light house and the view from the top is amazing.
Montauk Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in New York. Construction was completed in November of 1796. It is the 4th oldest light house in the entire US and it stands 110 feet high. The light still flashes every 5 seconds and can be seen from over 18 nautical miles away.
The Long Beach Bar “Bug” Lighthouse is a very unique lighthouse. That resembles more of a Victorian house than a lighthouse. Unfortunately the original lighthouse was destroyed in 1963, but the current lighthouse was built in only 60 days. The quick construction was due to the structures created on land then assembled on location.
Cedar Island Lighthouse is a 2 story granite building standing 40 feet high that was completed in 1839. It was originally constructed on an island, but as time has changed the shoreline, it created a walkable bar to the lighthouse.
Plum Island Lighthouse was put into service in 1827. It is a 2 story lighthouse constructed of granite. The original masonry had major structural issues, so in 1867 the structure was rebuilt. It originally had a 350,000 candle power light that could be seen for up to 14 miles. The shoreline of this lighthouse has been eroding over the years and is in danger of another lighthouse worth touring is Orient Point Lighthouse. This unique lighthouse is known as the Coffee Pot because of it’s unique shape. It was constructed in 1899, and was in service up until the 1960’s
The Little Gull Lighthouse sits where the Long Island Sound and Blank Island sound meet. The lighthouse was constructed in 1806. The light of this impressive round masonry tower shines 92 feet above sea level.
One of the last masonry lighthouses to be constructed on a water bound site was the Race Rock lighthouse which went into service in 1878. The engineering was incredible for the time period of the construction. It was constructed in a highly dangerous location where shipwrecks occurred by the dozens, partially due to hidden rocks just below the surface of the water. Race Rock lighthouse took 7 years and many courageous acts to construct.
The lighthouses of Long Island are a great site to see. It is fun to see how many varieties of architecture there are among the lighthouses. Taking a lighthouse tour of some of the lighthouses that are located on Long Island, or taking a lighthouse tour cruise, will educate you about these historic structures that have guided thousands of ships safely to their destination.