2021 55¢ Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses – Montauk Point Lighthouse, New York
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: August 6, 2021
First Day City: Highlands, NJ
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 40,000,000
Montauk Point Light was the very first lighthouse built in the state of New York. It was also one of the first public works projects of the United States. The lighthouse is located on Turtle Hill, at the very end of Long Island.
Montauk Point Light was authorized by President George Washington on April 12, 1792. Construction began on June 7, 1796, under the supervision of Ezra L'Hommedieu, and was completed five months later on November 5. The first lighthouse keeper was Jacob Hand, and he lit the lamps in the lantern tower for the first time in early April 1797.
The original Montauk Point Light was 80 feet tall, but in 1860, it was renovated and increased to just over 110 feet in height. At the same time, a first-order Fresnel lens was installed in the lantern tower. This lens stood 12 feet high, 6 feet across, and weighed 10,000 pounds. The keeper's house was updated at the same time as the rest of the tower. In 1873, a steam-powered fog signal was installed, and in 1899 the tower was painted with its signature red-brown stripe. Originally, the tower was all white.
The Montauk Point Light was managed by civilian keepers until World War II. Today, the lighthouse is fully automated and continues to keep ships safe as the fourth-oldest active lighthouse in the United States.