Maritime History in Greenport
Aside from the considerable naval aspects of the seaport’s location during the American Revolution and the Spanish American War, Greenport was a principal whaling port, with seventy-seven ship arrivals and departures between 1832 and 1857.
Greenport was also a major ship-building port. In the twenty years spanning 1830 to 1850, over 500 registered vessels were built at Greenport shipyards, and thirteen marine railways launched vessels ranging from schooners to barques.
Greenport served as a major transportation hub in the later 19th and early 20th century, with twenty side-wheel steamers creating a sea link between New York and Boston.
Long famous for its prosperous oyster and menhaden fishing industry, Greenport also contributed to the glory years of America's Cup J-boats. World War II brought a boom in ship building. Between 1941 and 1945 Greenport Basin & Construction Company - now Greenport Yacht and Shipbuilding - built and launched a fleet of more than 50 small warships: Minesweepers, Sub Chasers and Tugs. These vessels required non-magnetic construction, served in all theaters of the war, but the largest number were sent to the North Atlantic.
One YMS 382 was sent to Norway, and on May 7, 1945 was torpedoed in the English Channel and lost. She was the last allied warship sunk by a U-boat in WWII.
Fresnel Lens Collection
A popular exhibit at the museum is our collection of Fresnel lenses. Second Order lenses, especially in this condition, are uncommon. The Fourth Order Fresnel lens, complete with clockwork mechanism, used to reside in the lantern of the Plum Island Light. It now makes its home at the East End Seaport Maritime Museum in Greenport.
A Sailor’s Life in Port
This summer experience history brought to life with a recreation of the Claudio’s Family restaurant as would have been visited by a sailor, and a sail making loft. Many of the permanent artifacts at the Seaport Museum show the tools of maritime trade, the life of seaport workers and the unfolding of East End Long Island History.
Long Beach Bar "Bug" Lighthouse
Explore the history of our beloved Bug Light through videos, photographs, artifacts, floor plans, and models of this iconic offshore lighthouse. You can visit Bug Light, too! See our schedule of seasonal Cruise & Tour experiences.