Staten Island Lighthouses

A forum to discuss lighthouses Mid-Atlantic Region of the US
(New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware)

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Postby yvonnez » Mon Feb 14, 2005 12:38 pm

thank you so much for all your help.
I'm printing off the directions in a large bold font so I can read them as I'm driving. I'm used to being the navigator!

I'll try to see as many as I can..weather looks like it may co-operate.

I always say the directions you get are only as good as they are when you try to follow them. I'll let everyone know...maybe we could write one of those great books like the Lighthouse Companion that Paul Rezendez has for Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts!!

Take care,
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Postby yvonnez » Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:48 pm

Hi everyone.
Sorry it's taken me so long to give you an update on my Staten Island
trip. Thanks to the great directions and advice I got from Dennis, I got
to see lots and lots of lights...one embarrassment, but I'll come to that.

I have tons of pictures but am not sure how to post them so for now, until
someone helps me with the pictures, I'll just give you a running narrative.

I left New Hampshire on Friday morning and arrived in Bridgeport, Ct
around 11 AM to meet with security folks at the power plant where
Tongue Point Lighthouse is located. I'd made arrangements in advance
to be cleared thru and escorted to see the light. I was treated very well
had my license and another picture id checked...camera looked over and
I was assigned to one of the security guys for the company. He took me
to meet with the woman I'd initially dealt with, Rosa Monks..a lovely and
generous woman...then off to see the light. For those of you unfamiliar
with Tongue Point, its a small iron black lighthouse that is run by the
Coast Guard and is still active. You can see it from a distance by going
to a park nearby but the view is blocked by a lot of power equipment.

For those of you who know John and me, we travel with two little stuffed bears (Bodie and Chuck). They've been on most of our lighthouse quests
and even tho I was alone on this one, they came with me. Tongue Point
Light is surrounded by boulders that my "guide" nimbly climbed down.
I know my limitations and handed him the bears to place by the light
while I took pictures. He was very gracious...offering to pose them in
different places and have them wave to me...

He then suggested we wait for the Port Jefferson ferry to come over from Long Island thinking that would make a nice picture..then took me on a very long dock to get different views of the light...all in all we spent about
1 1/2 hours taking pictures. It was great. At the end he invited me (and
John) back in the Spring when the weather was better and handed me his
personal business card. BAD BOY Bail Enforcement!!! And there he was
posing stuffed bears for me!!! APparently he is a former East Haven cop
who was hurt in a bar brawl and had to leave the force. I was quite

Next I stopped for a few more off shore lights in Connecticut and then
on to Tarrytown. Friday afternoon seemed to get colder and colder
but the walk to the Tarrytown light from the parking lot was worth the
discomfort. I'd only ever seen it from the Tappen Zee bridge and heard
about it from my Mom. It was nice to get a closer view.

I stayed Friday and Saturday night at the Dolce Tarrytown, a completely
wonderful experience.

Saturday morning I was off bright and early to head into NYC to visit
the Blackwell Island lighthouse. When I got there, it was 14 degrees, bright and sunny with a stiff wind coming off the East River. I had on
three sweaters and a down jacket ...I could hardly bend my arms to take pictures but that was a gorgeous light. Thank you Dennis, for recommending it to me.

Next stop, Coney Island, just to see what they would say. I could see
the Coney Island light from a bike path just before exit 4 on the Belt Parkway and stopped to look but didnt take pictures. I then ventured out
to Seagate where they apparently have their own police force. I spoke with a very nice cop who was very apologetic about not letting me in to see the light but he said since 9/11 everything had changed drastically.

From there I went to Fort Wadsworth and the Park Ranger told me about the lookout to see the light and the Verrazano bridge...quite lovely.

Then I attempted to go to the Staten Island ferry dock where I was told that no picture taking was allowed from the dock. I would have to take the ferry and take pictures from there. I declined on this trip...perhaps next time. In the excitement, I forgot about the Lighthouse Museum..I'll save that for next time too.

Next stop was the New Dorp light. Odd place for a lighthouse, right in the middle of a housing development!! But fairly easy to get to.

Then the Staten Island lighthouse. I can see where the people who live there might have a fit to have tons of folks trespassing across their brick driveway ..you know how people are, not very respectful of other people's property. But this was a great lighthouse...the bears really enjoyed this one!

From there I followed the trail back to New Dorp Road and to the coast where I was to see Elm Tree and West Bank. I must have had something in my head against seeing Elm Tree because I didn't. I drove down to Miller Park...oh by the way, the road is blocked off so you can't drive to the very end but there's a parking lot that goes by some run down buildings that I drop thru to get to the end. I was parked there talking on the phone to John when a cop pulls up and chases some other people away. I was waiting for him to come over to me but he just drove off.
I climbed out of the truck and slipped and slid (muddy) down to the beach area where I could see West Bank easily. I also saw a lighthouse (I think) behind it off to the right quite aways that I couldnt' identify. Since I was supposed to see two lights here and I forgot to look at the pictures I had with me from WWW.LIGHTHOUSEFRIENDS.COM, I thought it was Elm Tree. I probably leaned against Elm Tree to take some pictures. Never gave it another thought and drove away to the next light at Old Orchard. Another nice spot at Calf Pasture Park and open restrooms!

Then for my final (gravy) lights, I drove down to the Conference House to see Great Beds. I wasn't sure where the Conference House was and saw a cop parked on the side of the road talking to another cop and stopped to ask him. he was very gracious...I have to say everyone I ran into in New York was extremely nice and helpful...he pointed out where the lighthouse was and where the best place to park would be...what a great spot that is!!

On the way back I thought I would give Prince's bay a shot. I had passed a small parking area that I thought might be the Mt. Loretto Unique Area I'd read about. When I pulled in, a man was just starting down the trial with his little dog. He told me where the lighthouse was but said that it was a really LOOOOOOOONG walk...boy, was he not kidding. But what a beautiful walk it was, thru wetlands and fields to the lighthouse and then back by the ocean where you can see Old Orchard Shoals light....just wonderful.

I stopped briefly on the way back to catch a few far away shots of Coney Island Light and then back across the Triboro bridge where I spotted
the Statue of Liberty. I grabbed my camera and hoping for the best since I was driving...took one last shot. I was able to catch a glimpse of the lady in the picture.

So now that you're thoroughly bored with me....I will bid you good evening. And if anyone can tell me an easy way to post pictures, I will.
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Postby wheland » Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:51 pm


Glad the trip worked so well for you. I enjoyed your narrative about the trip. sorry you had no luck with coney Island- I didn't expect you would. I'm glad you got to Blackwell's Island Lighthouse. I hope my directions didn't get you too lost.

If you want to get inside Tarrytown you might want to go to the NJ Lighthouse Society Meeting there on 6-25. I'm sure it will be open then.

You probably saw Elm Tree but just don't realize it. It looks nothing like what you expect a Lighthouse to look like.

Here's part of a post on another website to help. It also helps answer the question about what other Lighthouses you can see from the beach near Elm Tree.


"We left there and went on our merry way to the last Lighthouse of the day- Elm Tree Lighthouse. It's one of the plainest Lighthouses anywhere. Here's a photo for you-

<center> Image</center>

It's at the end of what was Miller Field an airstrip on Staten Island used in the Second World War and now part of Gateway National Park.

Elm Tree may not be impressive but if you walk about 300 yards from it you can look out and see 4 Lighthouses on a clear day- Coney Island, West Bank, Old Orchard and Romers Shoal."
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Postby yvonnez » Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:12 am

That's funny about Elm Tree....the people the cop chased away were parked right by it!! I just thought it was part of the decripit buildings that were there. I'm going to try to stop on my way back from North Carolina in the Fall and catch this light. I was so annoyed with myself!
If you would, send me your email address again and I'll email you the picture I took of West Bank with the other light behind it and maybe you can tell me what that light might be. I still haven't figured out how to put a picture in this chat room. I've copied, edited, cut, pasted...

Thanks again.

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