Sunday, April 17, 2011

Old Field Point Lighthouse, Old Field, LI, NY

This is the Old Field Point Lighthouse located in the village of Old Field, LI, NY.  The need for a lighthouse in the area increased as maritime traffic steadily grew and warnings regarding the rocky shoals and sand reefs went unheeded.

The first lighthouse on this site was built between 1822 and 1823.  It was a plastered octagonal stone tower that stood 30 ft. tall.  Its light was visible for 13 nautical miles.  In 1868, it was replaced with the current lighthouse  which is now a two story granite structure, it stands 74 ft. tall.

This lighthouse has a colorful history.  The first female keeper took over from her husband after his death in 1826.  She held the post for six months until the next keeper, Walter Smith, who took over in June 1827.  In 1830, when Mr. Smith passed, his wife Elizabeth took over and she held the post for twenty six years after which she was succeeded by another woman by the name of Mary Foster.

Keepers of the lighthouse also assisted with stranded vessels as in 1923 when Keeper Richard Ray rescued two men and brought them into the lighthouse where he gave them clothing, food and shelter for two days.

The lighthouse was deactivated in 1933 and was replaced by a steel tower built next to the lighthouse. In 1935, the Village of Old Field took over the property which was now to be used "for public park purposes."  That purpose changed in 1941 when the government took over the station as well as nearby Horton Point Lighthouse after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  After the war
both were returned to their original status. 

Old Field Point Lighthouse continues today as a home for the Village's Chief Constable.  The Coast Guard now maintains the lighthouse which was replaced with a modern beacon in 1991. Since 1963, the Village Hall is now housed in the 1824 keeper's house.   

 Here are the links:

There is more information and pictures on this site for you to enjoy.

Lighthouses of Long Island New York

The official site of the Incorporated Village of Old Field Island

Wikipedia article

1 comment:

  1. Love lighthouses, Clyde...this one is beautiful! How cool that there were woman Keepers in the 1800's!