Southold Travel Blog

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horton lighthouse

Although the Horton Point Lighthouse was commissioned to be built by President Washington in 1790, the acreage needed for the light station was not made available until 8 acres were offered to the Federal Government in 1855 for $550.

The light station, completed in 1857 for $7,500, consisted of the 55' tall square tower and a detached keeper's residence. Both are constructed of New England Granite and cut stone and locally acquired brick, timbers and lumber. The connecting annex between tower and house was added later.

Horton Point's original optic was a 3rd order Fresnel lens and a single whale oil-fed lamp. It showed a fixed white light, Horton Point was first established as a federal aid to navigation on June 4, 1857.

In 1907 the lens was powered by an incandescent oil vapor lamp.

In June 1932, Horton Point's warning responsibility was transferred to an airport-type optic placed atop a cliffside skeletal steel tower. Six months later the station was decommissioned and the Fresnel lens removed to storage. The presently active modern optic was installed in 1990.

Between 1941 and 1950 the light was transferred to a nearby steel tower, while the lighthouse was used as an observation post by Army, Coast Guard and Civil Defense contingents. During the 1960's vandals wrecked its interior and there were efforts by some Southolders to raze the lighthouse.

Since early 1990, the Southold Historical Society, the Southold Parks District and the Coast Guard have cleaned and repainted the light tower, installed new lantern glass, made electrical repairs developed a new shop area, opened a hallway and built a new stairway to the restored basement. On June 9, 1990, after the skeletal tower was removed, the lighthouse was re commissioned and relighted. The Southold Historical Society has an agreement from the Southold Parks District to use the first floor and basement as a nautical museum.

In 1993 a new service gallery and ladder to the outside of the watchroom and lantern were fabricated and installed. The dwelling's front porch was also replaced. Then in 1995, the watchroom door to the ladder was restored.

jennjeff1 says:
Hi Duckman! You should join and post this to the TB Lighthouses Group! Great background on the Horton Point Lighthouse with pics!
~Jeff (and Jenny)
Posted on: Jul 15, 2008
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horton lighthouse
horton lighthouse
photo by: furiousfowl