The nonprofit East End Seaport Museum & Marine Foundation, based in Greenport, is seeking donations to further spread knowledge of the North Fork’s maritime heritage—a heritage much enjoyed two weeks ago at the successful Taste North Fork event.
Among the projects, $10,000-$15,000 is needed to repair the Bug Light lighthouse, including 100 tons of rocks to strengthen the foundation, which sustained damage during Superstorm Sandy last fall. According to the East End Seaport Museum & Marine Foundation website, parts of the concrete foundation washed away as well as the stairs to the first floor. The door was also ripped off and the pier “took a battering.”
Many repairs have already been made to Bug Light, but they hope to complete more work before the inevitable winter nor’easters. “A marine contractor recommended we add 100 tons of rock to Bug Light’s base to stabilize and help protect it. “Your support is needed to keep our lighthouse safe, secure and open to the public,” the foundation says.
The original lighthouse was built upon a screw pile foundation and first lit on December 1, 1871. The metal framework foundation made the structure look like a large bug upon the water, earning it the “Bug Light” nickname. Bug Light helped sailors steer to safety from its location between Orient Harbor and Gardiner’s Bay, bringing them to the protected and welcome waters of Peconic Bay. Bug Light was also a warning beacon for boats navigating around the hazardous sandbar at Long Beach.
Along with its repairs to the lighthouse, the foundation hopes to digitize a journal kept by William Smith Beebe during his voyage from Greenport to the Crozet Islands near Antarctica. Other funds could help keep the historic village blacksmith open.
The East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation says its mission is “to recognize, restore and preserve the maritime heritage of the East End.”