The Montauk Historical Society Lighthouse Committee is active in the Montauk, New York community. Their dedication to lighthouses has resulted in a complex of historical buildings being saved and the education of many school children and adults.
In 1986, the Historical Society petitioned the U.S. Coast Guard to open a museum at “The Montauk Point Lighthouse.” No governmental agency from federal to local jurisdictions wanted the responsibility; however, this committee saved the historic and beloved complex from being boarded up and abandoned.
Since the late 1980’s, the Historical Society has restored additional buildings, created educational exhibits and programs and celebrated Long Island, local and maritime history. In addition, they have served more than 1,500,000 visitors. Operating as volunteers during the past 18 years, they donate countless hours to the stewardship of this nationally significant historic site. President George Washington initially commissioned this site in 1792.
The Montauk Lighthouse is the fourth oldest working lighthouse in the United States and the oldest in New York State. Until construction of the Statue of Liberty, this beacon symbolically marked many immigrants’ arrival into our country. Today it still remains as an important aid to navigation and mark of arrival by sea to the U.S.