National Archives: Lighthouses, 1855-1933

Clippings File

1835 Lighthouse elevation, image adapted/edited from similar lighthouse plans in National Archives

1845 – Illustration of original 1835 lighthouse – cropped from “Panorama of the Hudson River from New York to Albany,” The New York Public Library Digital Collections, 1845,

1848 – Lighthouse Burned, Ulster Telegraph, 1848-12-02, Page2.

1849 – Dorcas Schoonmaker’s politically-motivated dismissal, Another Disgraceful Act, Ulster Telegraph, 1849-07-21, Page2.

Abram and Dorcas Schoonmaker gravestone

1867 Congressional Appropriation. Source: The Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations of the United States of America, Volume 14. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1868. page 458.

1868 Construction Report. Source: United States Department of the Treasury. Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the Finances, with Appendices. 1868. page 337.

Italianate features of 1869 lighthouse

1878 – A PAIR OF HEROINES [unabridged article]. St. Louis Globe-Democrate, 1 December 1878.

KATE AND ELLEN CROWLEY. The Maidens Who Take Care of the Saugerties Light. Source: Buffalo Morning Express and Illustrated Buffalo Express (Buffalo, New York), 27 Nov 1878, Wed, Page 2.

1878 – Hudson River Light House – Heroines on Guard – Poughkeepsie Eagle-News
(Poughkeepsie, New York), 28 Nov 1878, Thu, Page 3.

A close shave, Saugerties Daily Post, 23 Nov 1879.

Tugs run aground, try put blame on lighthouse keepers but they have an “excellent reputation,” Evening Register (Hudson NY), 23 July 1881.

undated photo (circa 1880s) of Dennis Crowley (Kate’s father)

circa 1886 – oldest photo of 1869 lighthouse, including keeper James Crowley (brother or nephew of Kate Crowley) – National Archives

early 20th century postcard

circa 1900 – “Osceola” and “G.C. Adams” passing the Saugerties Lighthouse

Recollections of early 20th Century:
Interview with Ilah Kaufmann, daughter of keeper Conrad Hawk. Source: Farlekas, Chris. “Life on the Hudson–a rare point of view.” Sunday Record, August 25, 1974. page 11.

Memories of the Saugerties Lighthouse by Vivian Jensen Chapin. Source: Lighthouse Digest, November 2005. pages 32-33.

1954 Keeper removed and beacon automated.

Concern that abandoned lighthouse will suffer vandalism and neglect.

Announcement of lighthouse closure met with protest, concerns about vandalism and neglect.

Marine cable laid for automatic light and fog bell.

Keeper Pastorini regrets leaving, automated light and fog bell attended by Jake Overbaugh.

1958 Abandoned lighthouse checked nightly by part-time lamplighter

1959 Chester and Ruth Reynolds Glunt propose a wildlife refuge for the wetlands adjacent to the Lighthouse.

1964 Coast Guard announced demolition plan

Local reaction to demolition plan

1966 Hudson River Valley Commission intervened with the Coast Guard in a last minute effort to save the structure. Source: The Hudson River Lighthouses. The Hudson River Valley Commission. The Commission, 1967. page 25.

1967 The Hudson River Valley Commission recommended that the lighthouse be acquired by New York State to transfer to a research institute for use as an environmental studies center. Source: The Hudson River Lighthouses. The Hudson River Valley Commission. The Commission, 1967. page 27.

The Commission proposed plan for research station to local colleges. Page 1. Page 2.

1971 Correspondence of Normal Farrell re: purchase of Lighthouse for a museum.

Reversion clause for Lighthouse property. Source: McKinney’s Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated, Book 56. West Publishing Company, 1918. pages 77-78.

1972 Coast Guard offered lease to Village pending removal of the beacon from the Lighthouse.

On October 31st, 1972, the light in the tower was extinguished and replaced by a single pipe structure on adjacent island. Horn used instead of bell for fog signal.

1973 Village of Saugerties obtained a temporary 6-year lease to use the Lighthouse as a historical museum. Source: USCG License Number DOT CGD3-20022.

1976 Saugerties Arts Council formed a committee to attempt to save the Lighthouse and restart effort to acquire Lighthouse for purpose of a museum.

Saugerties Arts Council discussed possible future use of the Lighthouse.

1977 “Spoils area” designated Ruth Reynolds Glunt Nature Preserve by Saugerties Arts Council.

1978 Saugerties Arts Council sponsored a site utilization study.

1979 Village of Saugerties renewed its lease for another 3 years. Source: USCG License Number DOT-CCGD3-20138

Building is placed on the National Registry.

National Registry Building Inventory

National Archives: New York MPS Saugerties Lighthouse

1985 Coast Guard begins abandonment proceedings. Source: Kwiatoski, Debbie. “Landmark stirs restoration efforts.” Daily Freeman, Evening edition, May 1, 1985. Page 4.

Lighthouse stabilization is listed as a priority project in the Village’s newly adopted Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP)

Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy Certificate of Incorporation

1986 Enabling Legislation: Conveyance of Saugerties Lighthouse

1987 Property Deed: Letters Patent

1990 Lighthouse rededicated. Aid to Navigation reinstalled in Lighthouse tower. Factual inaccuracy in article: light was automated in 1954, and the tower went dark in 1972, replaced by a beacon on a single-pole structure on adjacent island. The light was reinstalled in the tower in 1990, so the lighthouse was dark for the 18-year period from 1972 to 1990.

1994 A Visit to the Saugerties Lighthouse. Source: Mariners weather log / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Washington, D.C. : Environmental Data and Information Service, Volume 38, 1994. page 34-35.

Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy brochure.

Images of lighthouse circa 1986 after left vacant for 30 years:

Lighthouse, west face

Windows, second floor on west face

Crumbling tower wall

West entrance

South entrance

Interior ceiling

Interior rotten/missing floor

Second floor hallway (or what’s left of it)

Reid Beilenberg

John Kurowski

Saugerties Waterfront:

1850 map

Saugerties poster (with bird’s-eye view of waterfront)

1875 map, shows waterfront mills (and “D. Crowley” on Dock Street)

Cantine Dam postcard