Photo of the Week
FROM THE SCHS LIBRARY ARCHIVES
“How shall we know it is us without our past?”
– John Steinbeck
by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian
PHOTO: Montauk Point Lighthouse, c. 1899, by Hal B. Fullerton.(Image from the Harry T. Tuthill Fullerton Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Copyright (c) Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.) [To view Fullerton photo, please visit www.suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org]
The Montauk Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in New York State and the fourth-oldest active lighthouse in the United States. The lighthouse was authorized by the 2nd U.S. Congress under President George Washington on April 12, 1792. Ezra L’Hommedieu, who had been a member of the Continental Congress, consulted with Washington on the lighthouse construction, which began in June 1796 and was completed by November 5 of that year. Due to prevailing winds in winter, shippers approaching from sea needed a lighthouse at the tip of Long Island to guide them along the south shore into New York Harbor. Today the lighthouse still serves as a navigational aid.
In 2012, Montauk Light was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior, in recognition of its significance in the history of the United States.