Staten Island Maritime History
U.S. Coast Guard.
The current Elm Tree Lighthouse was constructed in 1939 by the U.S. Coast Guard. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places within the Miller Army Airfield Historic District. This octagonal concrete beacon replaced a wooden one first lit in 1856. The wooden light structure was the front range light for Swath Channel with the New Dorp Lighthouse acting as the rear range light.
The name Elm Tree, was derived from a large elm tree that stood near this site that served as a navigational aid to mariners from the 18th century.
Frank Kiernan, VIP
The Fort Wadsworth Light was first lit in spring of 1903. This red brick tower sits atop Battery Weed. It originally was a 4th order fresnel lens that alternately flashed red and white light up to 14 nautical miles. It was deactivated in 1965 when the Verrazano Narrows Bridge made its function obsolete.
View an article from "Lighthouse Digest" on the restoration of the Lighthouse. This publication is not a part of the National Park Service.
Did You Know?
All of Gateway NRA's units include sites that defended New York Harbor from attacks from the sea, from the Revolutionary War through World War II. They are Fort Hancock, Fort Tilden, and Fort Wadsworth. Learn about the history of coastal defense by visiting any of these sites. More...