Long Beach Bar (Bug Light) Lighthouse

 


Location: Off the western tip of Orient Beach State Park, at the entrance to Orient Harbor.

Description:

  • Original lighthouse: Two story wooden structure upon a screwpile (later reinforced concrete) foundation,  housed a Fifth Order Fresnel lens.

  • Current replica: Plywood/vinyl siding shell with many changes to original external appearance (only foundation is historic).

History of light:

  • 1870: Constructed.

  • 1871: First lit.

  • 1924: Foundation changed from metal frame (screw pile)  to concrete so that a central heating system could be installed.

  • 1938: The infamous September hurricane caused contamination of the light's drinking water with salt water heaved from the sea.

  • 1945: Deactivated.

  • 1955: The light is bought by a group in Orient Point.

  • 1963, July 4: Destroyed by arsonists.

  • 1990, September 5: The new replica was taken to its foundation by barges and reassembled.

  • 1991, July. Two shotgun blasts damaged the siding and broke two windows, causing $2000 in damages.

  • 1993: The Coast Guard re-established the light as a federal aid to navigation.

Current use: Active aid to navigation.

The surrounding area: The Orient Point lighthouse is a bit further along the road, as is the ferry to New London, CT. A ride on the ferry will give you a good view of the Orient Point and Plum Island lights. West of this light is the Horton Point Lighthouse. The North Fork also boasts an array of wineries, coastal views and several historical sites.

Public access? For special occasion overnight stays.

Similar Lights: Esopus Meadows in upstate NY. The former Bridgeport Harbor, CT light was the same structure and was also built on screwpiles.

Other information: Over $140,000 was raised by the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation to rebuild the light. Nickname of "Bug Light" comes from the appearance of the light with its original steel frame foundation which made the light look like a bug. It was very unusual for a screw pile foundation to be used this far north, as screw pile construction was subject to heaving from ice.

Who to Contact: The East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation. 631-477-0004; 631-477-2100. Open during the summer.

 

 


Long Beach Bar Lighthouse on June 6, 1999

 


Returning to Greenport from a trip across the Long Island Sound on 3/6/99. It was raining and windy, about 3PM.
Note that the light is lit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research materials for this lighthouse can be found at the East Islip Public Library, East Islip, New York.
Note to Researchers: This is one of the lighthouses for which accurate information can be hard to find. Long Island Boating World's November/December 2004 issue contained a poorly researched and demonstrably inaccurate  article, by Harlan Hamilton,  on this lighthouse. I would not recommend it for use as a reference for researchers.
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