The first Fire Island Lighthouse was constructed in 1826 after numerous shipwrecks along the barrier island. A replacement tower built in 1858 incorporated innovations in lighthouse design such as the Fresnel lens. Vessels anchored offshore, known as lightships, augmented the lighthouse for many years. The Coast Guard shut down the site in 1973. Through the efforts of the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society and the National Park Service, the beautiful structure was meticulously restored and the tower relit in 1986. Along with a selection of wonderful color photographs depicting the grandeur of the lighthouse, author Bill Bleyer charts the history of Long Island's cherished Fire Island Lighthouse.
Fire Island Lighthouse: Long Island's Welcoming Beacon. Book by Bill Bleyer
Bill Bleyer, prize-winning staff writer for Newsday and life-long boater is clearly smitten with the lighthouse, and for years has written about it. Here, he lays out for the reader both its past and present, covering everything from the construction of the first lighthouse tower in 1826 to the current renovation of the second tower. A back of the book timeline lets readers track the changes in the lighthouse, while his interesting stories of the keepers and little known facts make for an engaging narrative. Fire Island News
Bill Bleyer was a prize-winning staff writer for Newsday, the Long Island daily newspaper, for thirty-three years before retiring in 2014. He is the author of Sagamore Hill: Theodore Roosevelt's Summer White House and co-author of Long Island and the Civil War, both published by The History Press. He has been published in Civil War News, Naval History, Sea History, Lighthouse Digest, the New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, the Toronto Star and others. Bleyer graduated from Hofstra University and earned a master's in urban studies at Queens College of CUNY.