Plum Island Lighthouse


Location: West end of Plum Island.

Description: 34 feet, Fourth Order Fresnel lens made by "Barbier and Bernard, Constructeurs, Paris, 1897;" Original light had rough stone construction,  Current light (1869) has granite construction.

History of light:

  • 1826, August 28: The local Superintendent of Lighthouses issues a call for proposals to build a "Light-House and Dwelling-House on the west end of Plumb-Island." The tower is to be a 30 foot octagonal structure with an iron lantern containing "patent lamps and reflectors, ten butts for keeping the oil, and all the necessary apparatus, to the same manner as the Light-Houses in the United States have been fitted up by Winslow Lewis."

  • 1827: Constructed.

  • 1869: Rebuilt in same style as Old Field and Block Island North lights.

  • 1978: Deactivated.

  • 1997: The generator house falls in to the sea as the result of erosion and government neglect.

  • 2000: The Long Island Chapter of the US Lighthouse Society begins a push to save the lighthouse, and procures rocks for the stabilization of the eroding bluff beneath the lighthouse.

  • 2004, November: The Long Island Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society arranged and funds an architectural assessment of the lighthouse.

Current use: Inactive.

The surrounding area: Plum Island is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Animal Disease Center and is a restricted area.

Public access? No.

Similar Lights: The Old Field Point and Block Island North lights are of the same design.

Other information: The Fourth Order Fresnel lens is on loan to the East End Seaport and Marine Foundation and is one display at their museum.

Who to Contact: Long Island Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society; 631-207-4331.











Plum Island Lighthouse on June 6, 1999.
Note the erosion.


Plum Island Lighthouse in May 2005.
Note the rocks placed on the bluff to stabilize it.


This Fourth Order Fresnel lens, complete with
clockwork mechanism, used to reside in the lantern
of the Plum Island Light. It now makes its home
at the East End Seaport Maritime Museum
in Greenport.



2006 Long Island Lighthouse Challenge Note: This light will be part of the challenge. It can be seen from Orient Point.
Research materials for this lighthouse can be found at the East Islip Public Library, East Islip, New York.

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