Whitestone Point Lighthouse (minor aid)


Location: Two miles west of Willetts Point and Fort Totten.

Description: Original structure was a "square pyramidal frame tower on piers; lower part, white; upper wood-color"  with a "bell struck by machinery a double blow every 30 sec." Base of structure to center of lantern 20 feet. It had a fixed white lens lantern 36 1/2 feet above water.

History of light:

  • 1889: Aid shown was built on a small wooded bluff.

  • Sometime after 1908: Original structure is replaced by a black skeleton tower, white tank house on a black base, showing a light 48 feet above the water.

  • Currently: A black skeleton tower, focal plane 56 feet, with a fog bell (one strike every 15 seconds).

Current use: Active aid to navigation.

Similar Lights: There were a few of these small wooden towers in the Third District. Hell Gate (Hallett's oint) was one, and there was one at West Point for some time.

Other information: Virtually unknown light with very little available history. This was a minor aid to navigation, not a "lighthouse" as we generally think of them, but it was a part of the area's aids to navigation history. Nearby Willetts Point was home to Civil War veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Abaither J. Knowles.



Postcard of the original 1889 Whitestone Point Light
and fog bell.


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