Race Rock

Fishers Island, NY

Race Rock Lighthouse

Partly because eight ships were lost between 1829 and 1837 alone, the Race Rock lighthouse was commissioned. This marks the Race Rock Reef; a reef that claimed lives on the British warship John & Lucy in 1617 and the steamer Atlantic in 1846.

The lighthouse took eight years to complete from the time of its orignal commissioning, mostly due to the engineering, bad weather, and mismanagement of the project. The construction crews spent years just building the artificial island that the lighthouse would sit on. The light was completed on February 21, 1879 and cost $278,716. The engineer of this light was Francis Hopkinson Smith, who would later go on to build the base of the Statue of Liberty.

This is a granite house with a 67 foot high tower that holds a fourth order lens. In 1896, a second class fog siren was added. Currently, the light flashes alternatively red and white every 30 seconds and can be seen about 20 miles away. The light was automated in 1978.