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Onshore Lighthouse Construction Types--Stone Masonry (excluding Brick and Concrete)

Masonry towers were constructed of rubblestone, cut stone (dressed stone), brick, and concrete. The oldest standing masonry light tower in the United States is the 85-foot-tall Sandy Hook Lighthouse (1764), New Jersey, built of cut stone. The preferred foundation for masonry lighthouses was bedrock but a method using wooden piles driven into the substrate and topped with timbers and/or rubblestone had to be used in regions, such as the coastal plain, where bedrock was lacking. Towers of stone and brick were typically built in the form of the frustum of a cone (a conical or pyramidal shape left by cutting off the top portion at a plane parallel to the base). Masonry walls of lighthouses are typically several feet thick at the base and decrease in thickness upward, with heights ranging from 30 feet at Piney Point Lighthouse (1836), Maryland, to the tallest lighthouse in the United States, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (1870), North Carolina, at 197 feet. The base of the tower was made thicker to support the ever increasing weight from above and to make it more stable. Cut or dressed stone, and later brick, permitted construction of taller and stronger towers because the weight could be more evenly distributed. The tapering sides were either conical, such as Boston Harbor Lighthouse (1789), Massachusetts, or octagonal such as Cape Henry Lighthouse (1792), Virginia.

Surviving examples include:
SANDY HOOK LIGHT, NJ (1764)
BOSTON HARBOR LIGHT, MA (1783)
PORTLAND HEAD LIGHT, ME 1791
CAPE HENRY LIGHT (FIRST TOWER), VA (1792)
MONTAUK POINT LIGHT, NY (1797)
EATONS NECK LIGHT, NY (1799)
NEW LONDON HARBOR LIGHT, CT (1801)
FAULKNERS ISLAND LIGHT, CT (1802)
OLD POINT COMFORT LIGHT, VA (1802)
NEW POINT COMFORT LIGHT, VA (1806)
SANDS POINT LIGHT (OLD), NY (1809)
SCITUATE LIGHT, MA (1811)
BLACK ROCK HARBOR (FAYERWEATHER ISLAND) LIGHT, CT (1817)
BIRD ISLAND LIGHT, MA (1819)
BAKERS ISLAND LIGHT, MA (1821)
MARBLEHEAD (SANDUSKY BAY) LIGHT, OH (1821)
BURNT ISLAND LIGHT, ME (1821)
LIBBY ISLAND LIGHT, ME (1822)
CHARLOTTE-GENESSE (PORT OF GENESEE) LIGHT, NY (1822)
PRUDENCE ISLAND (SANDY POINT) LIGHT, RI (1824)
POOLES ISLAND LIGHT, MD (1825)
STONY POINT LIGHT, NY (1826)
CONCORD POINT (HAVRE DE GRACE) LIGHT, MD (1827)
PRINCES BAY LIGHT (OLD), NY (1828)
BARCELONA (PORTLAND HARBOR) LIGHT, NY (1829)
DICE HEAD LIGHT, (OLD) ME (1829)
BUFFALO (MAIN) LIGHT, NY (1833)
PEMAQUID POINT LIGHT, ME (1835)
NED'S POINT LIGHT, MA (1838)
EAGLE ISLAND LIGHT, ME (1838)
SADDLEBACK LEDGE LIGHT, ME (1839)
PRESQUE ISLE LIGHTS, MI (1840)
STONINGTON HARBOR LIGHT, CT (1840)
FIVE MILE POINT (OLD NEW HAVEN) LIGHT, CT (1845)
MOUNT DESERT ROCK LIGHT, ME (1847)
WEST SISTER ISLAND LIGHT, OH (1848)
PALMER ISLAND LIGHT, MA (1849)
MONHEGAN ISLAND LIGHT, ME (1850)
WHITEHEAD ISLAND LIGHT, ME (1852)
NARRAGUAGUS (POND ISLAND) LIGHT, ME (1853)
BAILEY'S HARBOR LIGHT, WI (1853)
BOON ISLAND LIGHT, ME (1855)
PETIT MANAN LIGHT, ME (1855)
BEAVERTAIL LIGHT, RI (1856)
CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT LIGHT, WA (1856)
POINT JUDITH LIGHT, RI (1857)
CAPE FLATTERY LIGHT, WA (1857)
MATINICUS ROCK LIGHT, (TWIN TOWERS) ME (1857)
SEGUIN ISLAND LIGHT, ME (1857)
WATCH HILL LIGHT, RI (1857)
NEW DUNGENESS LIGHT, WA (1857)
POTTAWATOMIE (ROCK ISLAND) LIGHT, WI (1858)
WOOD ISLAND LIGHT, ME (1858)
POINT AUX ROCHES LIGHT, NY (1858)
WINDMILL POINT LIGHT (OLD), VT (1858)
CAPE ANN (THACHER ISLAND) LIGHTS, MA (1861)
NAVESINK TWIN LIGHTS, NJ (1862)
ISLE OF SHOALS (WHITE ISLAND) LIGHT, NH (1865)
ERIE LAND (OLD PRESQUE ISLE) LIGHT, PA (1867)
GALLOO ISLAND LIGHT, NY (1867)
BLOCK ISLAND (NORTH) LIGHT, RI (1867)
SPLIT ROCK POINT LIGHT (OLD), NY (1867)
SHEFFIELD ISLAND (NORWALK) LIGHT, CT (1868)
GREAT CAPTAIN ISLAND LIGHT, CT (1868)
MORGAN POINT LIGHT, CT (1868)
CUMBERLAND HEAD LIGHT (OLD), NY (1868)
OLD FIELD POINT LIGHT, NY (1868)
GRANITE ISLAND LIGHT, MI (1869)
MICHIGAN ISLAND LIGHT, WI (1869)
HALFWAY ROCK LIGHT, ME (1871)
SODUS POINT LIGHT, NY (1871)
GRAND RIVER (FAIRPORT HARBOR) LIGHT, OH (1871)
FORT NIAGARA LIGHT, NY (1872)
SAND ISLAND LIGHT, AL (1873)
BARBER'S POINT LIGHT (OLD), NY (1873)
BLUFF POINT (VALCOUR ISLAND) LIGHT, NY (1874)
DUNKIRK (POINT GRATIOT) LIGHT, NY (1875)
ISLE ROYALE LIGHT, MI (1875)
WHITE RIVER LIGHT, MI (1875)
MORRIS ISLAND (OLD CHARLESTON) LIGHT, SC (1876)
THIRTY MILE POINT LIGHT (OLD), NY (1876)
HURON ISLAND LIGHT, MI (1877)
CAPE SAN JUAN LIGHT (CABO SAN JUAN), PR (1880)
SAND ISLAND LIGHT, WI (1881)
PASSAGE ISLAND LIGHT, MI (1882)
CAPE ROJO LIGHT (CABO ROJO), PR (1882)
CULEBRITA ISLAND LIGHT (ISLA CULEBRITA), PR (1886)
MUERTOS ISLAND LIGHT (ISLA CAJA DE MUERTOS), PR (1887)
POINT SUR LIGHT, CA (1889)
CARDONA ISLAND LIGHT, PR (1889)
CASTLE HILL LIGHT, RI (1890)
DESTRUCTION ISLAND LIGHT, WA (1891)
POINT TUNA LIGHT, PR (1892)
PUERTO FERRO LIGHT (FARO DE PUERTO FERRO), PR (1896)
NORTH HEAD LIGHT, WA (1898)
ARECIBO LIGHT (FARO DE ARECIBO), PR (1898)
OGDENSBURG HARBOR LIGHT, NY (1900)
CABRAS ISLAND LIGHT, PR (1902)
GRAVES (THE) LIGHT, MA (1905)
RAM ISLAND LEDGE LIGHT, ME (1905)
POINT ROBINSON LIGHT, WA (1915)
POINT BORINQUEN LIGHT, PR (1920)



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