Item # HL652
A 2002 Regional Event Exclusive. Production will end December 31, 2002.
A noble, Victorian sentinel once stood among the battle-torn fields of Fort Tompkins, on Staten Island in New York. Looking completely out of place next to a military stronghold, Fort Tompkins' stark black and white color scheme and striking architecture would have been better suited for an aristocrat's home.
But mariners from that time would argue that Fort Tompkins was a welcome sight amid the artillery and cannons. This lighthouse saved lives. Her old-world charm and Mansard roof brings forth images of the nineteenth century. One could imagine visitors dress in Edwardian fashion, with their corsets and gowns, arriving for afternoon tea.
Archives from the Lighthouse Board describe the precarious location that the lighthouse stood on. Experiments in explosions and artillery fire caused the glass in the lantern room to break. On more than one occasion, the sentinel became an unwitting target. So in 1871, the lighthouse was moved. But the very move that was intended to save the lighthouse doomed its fate.
Although the building was now out of the battery range, it was too far from the water's edge. A recommendation was made to transfer the lighthouse's duties to the Fort Wadsworth Light, advice that was heeded in 1903. The Fort Tompkins Light disappeared forever soon thereafter.
Spring at Fort Tompkins
As the cold winter winds fade and the blooms of spring grow, Fort Tompkins comes alive in the warmth of the early season sun. Clothes were hung in the fresh spring air to dry. The grass would need mowing every Sunday. Fresh flowers would adorn the foyer, the kitchen and the lady's vanity. Springtime would bring new life to Fort Tompkins, if she were still here today. Now, one could only imagine.