Orient Point (The Coffee Pot) Lighthouse


Location: Orient Point, marks the end of Oyster Point Reef on the western side of Plum Gut

Description: 64 feet, flashing white light every five seconds (original light was a fixed red fourth order Fresnel); tower is three stories high, brick lined, cast iron plate construction painted brown on top and white on bottom, 24 feet tall, 21 feet wide at base, 18 feet wide at top; on top of the tower (below the lantern) is a watch deck; foundation is a concrete-filled cast iron caisson (made of curved plates bolted together)  32 feet tall with a 25 foot diameter.

History of light:

  • 1899: Constructed. First Keeper, Ole N. A. Anderson, appointed November 1.

  • 1954: Automated.

  • 1970: Coast Guard announced that the light will be extinguished and demolished. This caused an outcry from local communities.

  • 1973, October: Work began to restore the light.

  • 1978: Light was upgraded to compensate for the extinguishing of the Plum Island light.

  • 1999: The light celebrates its 100th birthday. Special celebrations are planned by the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation.

Current use: Active aid to navigation

The surrounding area: Orient Point is the furthest point east on the North Fork of Long Island. The North Fork also boasts an array of wineries, coastal views and several historical sites.

Public access? No, but you can get a good look at it. There are two ways to get near the light: Walk or take the Orient Point/New London Ferry. To walk you can either 1) Park by the ferry and walk along the south shore of the point, along the rocky beach, or 2) Park in the County Park to the left of the end of the road and take the hiking trail around the north side of the point. Be careful walking on the tidal flats that reach out toward the light, as the footing is slippery and the tides can move in fast. Taking the ferry will get you a nice ride past both the Orient Point and the Plum Island lights.

Similar Lights: The Connecticut lights at Latimer Reef and Old Saybrook are a similar cast-iron design.

Other information: Also known as "the coffee pot," the Orient light sits five degrees out of plumb. Light was built on the Oyster Point Reef to help mariners navigate through Plum Gut, which runs between the reef and Plum Island. Light was declared unsafe for servicing personnel and uneconomical to repair in 1970 by the Coast Guard. Public interest in saving the light resulted in its sandblasting and coating with epoxy. After three years of deactivation, the light was put back in service.


The "Coffee Pot" viewed from the south


The Orient Point Light on December 31, 1998. This is as close as you can get without getting your feet wet, unless you take the ferry past it. Here you can see how the structure is five degrees out of plumb.







Research materials for this lighthouse can be found at the East Islip Public Library, East Islip, New York.
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