Compass icon. This link bypasses navigation taking you directly to the contents of this page.

How to Use
the Map


Inquiry Question

Historical Context

Map 1




Table of

Locating the Site

Map 2: Third Lighthouse District in 1876

[Map 2] with link to larger version of map.

(Annual Report of the Light-House Board, 1876)

In 1838, the U.S. Congress divided the country into eight lighthouse districts and gave a naval officer in each district the job of examining each lighthouse and making recommendations for new ones. The Third Lighthouse District consisted of parts of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Each year the Lighthouse Service reported to Congress on its accomplishments for the year. By the late 19th century these reports included maps like this one, showing each lighthouse and lightship in a district.  One of the densest concentrations of lights along the East Coast was where the Atlantic Ocean joined New York Bay.

Questions for Map 2

1. Find New York Bay on this map.  How many lights can you find in the Bay?  Why do you think there were so many lights around the approaches to New York City?

2. Look at the Note at the top of the map.  How many different kinds of “Lights” (light houses and lightships) are listed?  How do they differ?  Why do you think there were so many varieties?

3. Lightships are ships with bright lights mounted on tall masts.  They are anchored in water too deep for lighthouse construction.  How many lightships can you find in New York Bay?  Why do you think they are located where they are?

* The small image on this screen will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Map 2, but be aware that the file may take as much as 2 minutes to load with a 28.8K modem.



Comments or Questions

National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.