Orient Point (The Coffee Pot) Lighthouse
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:
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.
|Research materials for this lighthouse can be found at the East Islip Public Library, East Islip, New York.|
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