Endangered Lighthouse List

Avery Point Lighthouse, CT

The Avery Point Lighthouse was constructed by the United States Coast Guard in 1943 on the site of their training station located in Groton, CT. The light was an operational aid to navigation from 1944 through 1967 at which time the Coast Guard moved their training facilities to New York. The light was build as a memorial to and as a symbolic representation of the US Coast Guard’s lighthouse keeping responsibilities. It is the last lighthouse built in the State of Connecticut.

After the USCG moved from Avery Point the light was extinguished and the State of Connecticut became the owner of the property. Maintenance and upkeep of the light were largely discontinued and in 1997 the structure had deteriorated to such a degree that it came very close to being torn down.

Thanks to the Avery Point Lighthouse Society (APLS), which is a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, the light was saved from the wrecking ball and a restoration project was begun. Monies are urgently needed to complete the restoration. APLS has established a major fundraising effort program by selling dedication bricks for a walkway at the lighthouse. Every lighthouse organization and/or lighthouse lover is encouraged to participate.

The Dutch Island Lighthouse, R.I.

Dutch Island had great historic significance even before the establishment of a lighthouse there, as the site was used as a Dutch trading post in the 1630’s. The light station on Dutch Island, first established in 1826, is among the oldest in the Narragansett Bay. The light’s first keeper, William Dennis, was a veteran of the American Revolution and was present at the Boston Tea Party. Dennis served as keeper well into his 90’s, a very unusual feat.

The present tower, one of only two square brick lighthouses in Rhode Island, quickly became endangered after being automated in 1947. The tower was completely abandoned after the light was transferred to an offshore buoy in 1979.Today the basic brick structure is sound, but the iron has rusted and the interior wood and plaster have been ravaged by time and vandals. Without a thorough restoration, the tower will continue to deteriorate until it is too late to save it. The lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Rhode Island Inventory of Historic Places. The State Historic Preservation Office has declared it restorable and worthy of preservation. A restored and relit Dutch Island Light would be a very welcome improvement for thousands of area boaters and residents. Your donations toward saving this very historic light would be greatly appreciated.

Plum Island Lighthouse, N.Y.

The Plum Island Lighthouse sits on an 840 acre island just off eastern Long Island’s north fork. Historically, both the Island and the Lighthouse that sits on it have a great amount of heritage. Plum Island is believed to be the location of the first altercation between the British Army and the American Revolutionist as the Colonists, under George Washington’s orders, launched a strike on the island to pre-empt the British from raiding their livestock. Later, the strategic location of the island justified an establishment of an army fort, Fort Terry, during the Spanish-American War. The site continued its militia heritage as it took part in both World Wars protecting the port of New York City from the Long Island Sound entrance.

The original Plum Island Lighthouse was established in 1827 and featured a Winslow Lewis lamp . In 1869, this first lighthouse was replaced by the current lighthouse. Recently, the Plum Island Lighthouse was named to the “Doomsday Lighthouse List” as severe erosion and maintenance disregard threatens its existence. To stress the erosion threat that this lighthouse faces, in 1997 the accompanying Generator and Search Light House was lost to erosion and fell into the sound. Due to Plum Island’s restricted access by the government agency that occupies the island, it is a difficult task to save this light and help is needed. These proprietors have contributed to saving this light in their financial and other efforts to stem the erosion that threatens this light, but $1.7 Million total is needed for restoration of this beacon in full.

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