“Undercover: Stories of Rum Running in Southold”

Southold Historical Museum’s New Exhibit Opens

at the Nautical Museum at Horton Point Lighthouse


Southold Historical Museum is eager to once again welcome visitors back to the Nautical Museum at Horton Point Lighthouse. Beginning May 28, the museum will reopen for the season. For several years now, the Museum has transformed the Baymen’s Room into a seasonal exhibit space. This season’s exhibit is titled “Undercover: Stories of Rum Running in Southold.” With the passing of the 18th Amendment in 1920, Prohibition became law across the country. But when there is a demand, so comes supply. Boats supplying alcohol anchored just past the territorial borders, often in a row (hence the name “rum row”) so that those who dared might “run” out via a smaller boat to purchase alcohol or rum (rum runners). The exhibit explores stories of local residents such as Sparky Coyle and Betty Hohnhorst who recalled the activities of the era.

Horton Point Lighthouse is one of seven historic lighthouses located in Southold Township. The tower and adjoining keeper’s residence are built on the “Cliff Lot” of Barnabas Horton’s original 1640 land grant. The tower is 58 feet tall and once held a 3rd order Fresnel lens. Southold Historical Museum maintains a nautical museum in the first floor of the former keeper’s house.

Visitors can also climb the tower for spectacular views of Long Island Sound and Connecticut.

The Nautical Museum at Horton Point Lighthouse is open May 28 to September 18, 2022 on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30am-4pm. Suggested admission is $5 per adult, $10 per family, which entitles visitors to a passport that can also be used for admission to the Museum’s Maple Lane Complex (open July 2 to September 18, 2022).

For more information about this or other programs, please email info@southoldhistorical.org or call 631.765.5500.

View from Barnabas Horton’s Original Land Grant, 1640.


54325 Main Road

PO Box 1

Southold, NY 11971


T: 631-765-5500

F: 631-765-8510

E: info@southoldhistorical.org



AAQ / Resource: Riverhead Bay Motors