Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fire Island Lighthouse

Although the Hudson Valley of New York, where Bella Terra world headquarters are located, is beautiful, and we even have lighthouses nearby in the river, it's not the same as the ocean. It was time for a beach day. I chose to visit a beach I had frequented in my youth, Robert Moses State Park.

As it turns out, if you park in Field 5, you are just a half-mile walk, along a pleasant boardwalk with signs interpreting the dunes and marshes, from Fire Island Lighthouse.

The first lighthouse at this location was lit in 1827. It was replaced by the current taller tower in 1858 to serve as a key aid for ships approaching New York Harbor. Having been decommissioned by the Coast Guard, it was preserved and relit thanks to the efforts of the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society.

It's worth climbing the 192 steps of the tower to get great views of Fire Island and the surrounding ocean and bay. Buy a ticket at the gift shop.

The Society recently recovered the lighthouse's original first order Fresnel Lens from the Franklin Institute, and last month opened a new building to display it.

Foundation of the original tower

First order Fresnel lens

View West - when the lighthouse was first built it was at the west end of the island. Fire Island now extends five miles further west.

View East

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