Fire Island Lighthouse

The Fire Island Lighthouse is a visible landmark on the Great South Bay, in southern Suffolk County, New York on the western end of Fire Island, a barrier island off the southern coast of Long Island.[4] The lighthouse is located within Fire Island National Seashore and just to the east of Robert Moses State Park. It is part of the Fire Island Light Station which contains the light, keepers quarters, the lens building containing the original first-order Fresnel lens, and a boat house.

Fire Island Light
Fire Island Light Station 1.jpg
LocationFire Island inlet, Long Island
Coordinates40°37′56.8″N 73°13′6.9″W / 40.632444°N 73.218583°W / 40.632444; -73.218583Coordinates: 40°37′56.8″N 73°13′6.9″W / 40.632444°N 73.218583°W / 40.632444; -73.218583
FoundationConnecticut River Blue Stone/timber
ConstructionBrick encased in cement
Height168 feet (51 m) [1]
ShapeConical tower
MarkingsFour black and white bands
HeritageNational Register of Historic Places listed place Edit this on Wikidata
First lit1858
DeactivatedActive, inactive 1974–1986
Focal height55 m (180 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
LensFirst order Fresnel 1856 (original), Carlisle & Finch Company (current)
Range24 nautical miles (44 km; 28 mi)
CharacteristicFlashing White 7.5 seconds counterclockwise.
Fire Island Light Station; Fire Island Light Station Historic District
Nearest cityKismet, New York
Area0.3 acres (0.12 ha)
ArchitectMorton, J.T.
NRHP reference No.81000082[2] 09001288[3]
Added to NRHPSeptember 11, 1981; January 29, 2010 (boundary increase)


The original first order Fresnel lens

The current lighthouse is a 180-foot (55 m) stone tower that began operation in 1858 to replace the 74-foot (23 m) tower originally built in 1826. The United States Coast Guard decommissioned the light in 1974. In 1982 the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society (FILPS) was formed to preserve the lighthouse. FILPS raised over $1.2 million to restore the tower and light. On May 25, 1986 the United States Coast Guard returned the Fire Island Lighthouse to an active aid to navigation. On February 22, 2006, the light became a private aid to navigation. It continues to be on the nautical charts, but is operated and maintained by the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society and not the USCG. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981 and a boundary increase for the national historic district occurred in 2010.[2][3][5][6]

It is listed as Fire Island Light, number 695, in the USCG light lists.[7]

When the lighthouse was built it was on the edge of Fire Island Inlet and marked the western end of Fire Island. However Fire Island has extended itself through accumulating sand so that the lighthouse is now nearly five miles (8.0 km) from the western end of the island at Democrat Point.[8]

The Archives Center at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History has a collection (#1055) of souvenir postcards of lighthouses and has digitized 272 of these and made them available online. These include postcards of Fire Island Light[9] with links to customized nautical charts provided by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

The lighthouse celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008, the same year as the 100th anniversary of Robert Moses State Park.


Fire Island Lighthouse

The lighthouse can be accessed by a short walk from Robert Moses State Park – Field 5. It is open to the public daily. Tower tours are available for a small fee.

In popular cultureEdit

From 1970 to 1975, the lighthouse and its surrounding area were seen in the opening and closing credits sequences of the CBS television soap opera The Guiding Light.[10][11]

Some of the final episode of season 1 of TV show The Following was filmed at Fire Island Lighthouse and surrounding buildings.[12]

Men in Black II also included some filming on the island in the immediate vicinity of the lighthouse.[13]

A 1999 Channel 4 TV series featuring Stephen Fry and called Fire Island included filming of the lighthouse.[14]

The 2008 movie [15] [16]"What Happens in Vegas" with Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher featured the lighthouse as the Diaz character's favorite place.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Inventory of Historic Lighthouses". National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  2. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "WEEKLY LIST OF ACTIONS TAKEN ON PROPERTIES: 1/25/10 THROUGH 1/29/10". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-02-05.
  4. ^ ARLHS World List of Lights
  5. ^ Steven Kesselman (April 1981). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Fire Island Light Station". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-02-20. See also: "Accompanying three photos".
  6. ^ Stephen Olausen and Laura Kline (January 2009). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Fire Island Light Station Historic District (boundary increase)". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-02-20. See also: "Accompanying 18 photos".
  7. ^ Light List, Volumes 1-7. United States Coast Guard.
  8. ^ "Robert Moses State Park/Fire Island National Seashore". Geology of National Parks. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  9. ^ Smithsonian lighthouse postcards
  10. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Guiding Light 1973 open". YouTube.
  11. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "The Guiding Light 1974 Open and Closing theme online video cutter com)". YouTube.
  12. ^ "IMDB The Following Filming Locations". IMDB. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  13. ^ "Men In Black II film locations". Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  14. ^ "IMDB Fire Island". IMDB. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  15. ^ {{
  16. ^ }}

External linksEdit