MONTAUK POINT LIGHTHOUSE, Turtle Hill
To the Editor of The Herald:
I stand as on some mighty eagle’s beak,
Eastward the sea absorbing, viewing, (nothing
but sea and sky)
The tossing waves, the foam, the ships in the
The wild unrest, the snowy, curling caps—that
inbound urge and urge of waves,
Seeking the shores forever.
— Walt Whitman
“From Montauk Point.” New York Herald, 1 March 1888.
- National Historic Landmark in recognition of the significant role played by the lighthouse in American maritime history.
- Authorized by the Second congress in 1792, under President George Washington
- Construction began on June 7, 1796 and was completed on November 5, 1796
- First lighthouse in New York State
- Fourth oldest active lighthouse in the United States.
- Foundation is 13′deep and 9′ thick
- Constructed of sandstone blocks from Connecticut, 8″ high and varying in length from 18″ high to 44″
- The walls are 6′ thick at the base tapering to 3′ thick at the top
- The height of the tower is 110′ 6″
- There are 137 iron steps to the top of the tower
- The light flashes every 5 seconds and can be seen a distance of 19 nautical miles
Thomas Moran, Montauk Lighthouse, 1879, etching. Courtesy of the New York Public Library Digital Collections.
Harvey Ginsberg Collection of Archival Postcards. Courtesy of the East Hampton Library’s Long Island Collection.
New York Public Library Digital Collection.