top of the light

At the end of the spiral staircase inside Montauk Lighthouse you step into a small chamber directly beneath the panels of glass (the lantern) that surround the guiding light that shines across the waters. A state park employee greeted my entrance into the chamber by informing me that I am not permitted to stand in the glass enclosed area above us. I can only take 4 or 5 steps and peer into the very top of the lighthouse. In the black and white image above you can see the small Fresnel lens (beneath the triangle plate) that currently sends light to signal ships and sailors. Compare that lens to this one! – https://rutakintome.com/2019/05/17/fresnel-art/

I was SO tempted to step into that lantern area, but, I chose to behave. The exit into the lantern wasn’t the only way out of the chamber. There was a small archway that faced north outside to a small space large enough for one person to stand and lookout. Here is what I saw:

Turning around and walking east across the chamber I was surprised to see this:

Just another day at the office. Thanks for stopping by.

light stairs

It was a dizzying climb to the top of the lighthouse. The relatively small space and limited field of vision was disorienting, in a fun kind of way.

The Lighthouse was completed on November 5, 1796 and is the oldest Lighthouse in the State of New York and the 4th oldest Lighthouse in the United States. The Tower is 110′ 6″ tall and there are 137 iron steps to the top of the tower. Thanks for that Google.

If you would like to explore the story and history of the Montauk Lighthouse a bit more, this is a good place to start: https://montauklighthouse.com/info/lighthouse-history/ Next: what I found at the top.

light stories and lenses

There is a $12 fee to enter the privately run museum at the lighthouse. The museum is modest in size and scope, but, the gentleman who was taking tickets to climb the lighthouse was an expert in all things lighthouse: the history of the Montauk Point Lighthouse; the amazing Fresnel lenses that shoot light across the ocean; how erosion is controlled so the lighthouse doesn’t fall into the sea, to name a few.

These lenses are amazing works of art in and of themselves. Thanks for stopping by. Next up: inside the lighthouse.