Monday, July 6, 2009
Hand-picked by George Washington!
With the sounds of fireworks still reverberating in our ears, it seemed appropriate that I should select for my next project a lighthouse location originally identified by George Washington himself!
Washington was only twenty-five years old when he rode from Virginia north through Long Island, New York, and came across two likely sites for a future light station: Montauk and Horton Point. In 1790, now-President Washington commissioned the construction of the lighthouses, but while Montauk was soon operational, it wouldn't be until 1855 that sufficient land was acquired by the government for the Horton Point lighthouse pictured here. The lighthouse was completed in 1857 for the princely sum of $7,500, with a fixed white light as its nighttime identification.
By 1932, however, it was decommissioned and a new optic light was installed atop a skeletal steel tower constructed on the bluff overlooking Long Island Sound. Between 1941 and 1950, the original tower was used as an observation post by the Army, Coast Guard and civil defense personnel. It fell victim to vandalism during the 1960s, but was luckily rescued by the Southold Historical Society. The skeletal tower was dismantled, the original structure was renovated extensively, and the Horton Point lighthouse was re-commissioned in 1990 with a flashing green modern optic as its identification. The historical society continues to operate a nautical museum in its first floor and basement.
I'll start working on the white tower and keeper's house first, then forge ahead with the sky and rest of the scenery.