Light House

Text from William Wade

Stony Point is a little rough promontory, now crowned by the lighthouse on its summit. It was strongly fortified during the Revolution, and completely commanded the approach up the river.

According to Ruth Glunt who wrote Lighthouses and Legends of the Hudson, Stony Point Light House was the first lighthouse built by the government on the Hudson River in 1826. It was not a dwelling but there was a keeper's house which was torn down and replaced by a stone house in 1938 by the W.P.A.

Aids to navigation began with the native Americans who bent limbs of trees or made stone piles along the river to indicate shallow or rocky areas, Glunt said. In 1789, the U.S. Lighthouse Establishment hired lamplighters who lived nearby these dangerous points and hung lanterns on trees or posts. These lamplighters were furnished with small wooden houses which usually only stood one season as there was no boat travel on the river in winter.

When lighthouses were established along the river, they were lit by whale oil, then coal oil, then kerosene and eventually electricity.

Lighthouses of the Hudson

Painting of Stoney Point Lighthouse by E.C. Coates