The year 2009 marks the
twentieth Anniversary of the rebuilding
on the Long
Beach Bar lighthouse by the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation.
This was the Foundation's first project, and set the standard that we have
sought to follow ever since.
The original lighthouse, first lit on December 1, 1871, was built upon a screw pile foundation.
This metal framework foundation made the light look like a large
bug upon the water, hence the "Bug Light" nickname.
For many years, Bug Light steered sailors to safety from its location between Orient Harbor and Gardiner's Bay,
welcoming them to the protected waters of Peconic Bay. More important, Bug Light was a warning beacon for navigators
rounding the hazardous sandbar at Long Beach.
The Bug Light's foundation was changed to concrete in 1926, to facilitate the installation of central heating.
In 1938, the infamous September hurricane raised the seas over the roof of the lighthouse, causing the keepers'
drinking water to be spoiled by salt water. The light was decommissioned in 1943.
On July 4, 1963, the lighthouse was burned to the ground by vandals, and the East End lost a treasured part of
its maritime history, a witness to many lives saved, and a beautiful example of marine architecture. For many years
thereafter, the spot would be marked on charts as "Lighthouse Ruins."
In 1990, the Bug Light was restored to its original grandeur by the efforts of hundreds of people who contributed
not only financial support, but also material, equipment, and hard work to the project. The wholly rebuilt Victorian
structure, with its flashing light 63 feet above water, once again resumed its duty of welcoming mariners as a
private aid to navigation. Shortly thereafter, the US Coast Guard took responsibility for the maintenance of the
lighthouse's optic, making the Long Beach Bar light station once again a federal aid to navigation.
Today, the Bug Light is owned and maintained by the East End Seaport Museum. It has become the keystone symbol of our
efforts to preserve the East End's maritime heritage.
The Lighthouse Committee is responsible for the regular care of Bug Light including routine maintenance and security.
The committee makes frequent visits to the lighthouse during Spring, Summer and Fall to assure that everything
is in working order. Each Spring the committee organizes a work party to survey any winter damage, and provide
a thorough cleaning of the facilities.
The committee also organizes and oversees all special visits to the lighthouse including requests from members
of the press and public officials.
Mike Kurz, Chairman of the Lighthouse Committee, along with members Ron Breur, Michael Mitchell, Ted Webb, Dick Gilloughy, and Bob Allen are responsible for maintenance and restoration efforts.
Inquiries about Bug Light should be directed to the Foundation secretary at 631-477-2100.