Fire Island Lighthouse, Captree Island, Great South Bay, Suffolk County, New York
FIRE ISLAND LIGHT
FIRE ISLAND INLET, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
Station Established: 1826
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1858
Automated: YES 1986
Foundation Materials: GRANITE/TIMBER
Construction Materials: BRICK ENCASED IN CEMENT
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: FOUR BLACK AND WHITE BANDS
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FIRST ORDER FRESNEL LENS, 1856
- Built in 1826 the first Fire Island Lighthouse was a 74 foot tall stone tower. It soon became apparent the lack of stature rendered the lighthouse unhelpful.
- A new 168 foot tower was lit on November 1, 1858. The tower was constructed from brick which was covered in concrete and painted yellow. It would receive it’s more recognizable black and white markings in 1891.
- Electricity arrived at the station in 1939.
- The Fire Island Light Station was deactivated in 1974. The beacon was moved to the top of a nearby water tower.
- Left to the elements the lighthouse soon fell to disrepair and was scheduled for demolition. The Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society was formed to save the lighthouse. The United States Coast Guard transferred the land and building to the National Park Service who, in turn, leased it to the preservation society. In 1984, the structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- The group raised enough funds to restore the lighthouse to its 1939 condition. On May 28,1986 it was reactivated as an active aid to navigation. In 2006, the group took over ownership and maintenance of the lighthouse. It still listed on charts as a private aid to navigation. The Fresnel lens is on display in the Visitor’s Center. The lighthouse is open to the public.
Researched and written by Melissa Buckler-Smith, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.