Digest>Archives> November 1995

Cold Spring Harbor, NY?

Been there - done that - got photo

By Sandra Shanklin


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In all our wanderings, searching for lighthouses, I had never read, seen, or heard anything about Cold Springs Harbor Light. Then one day while reading Harlan Hamilton's "Lights and Legends" book I had a rude awakening.

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"Lady Glen" with her lighthouse, (the original ...

There was a short phrase mentioning that the Lighthouse Board approved a structure for Stratford Point, CT in 1880, a week after it approved a shorter version of the same design for Cold Spring Harbor, NY front light.

Cold Spring Harbor??? My internal lighthouse detector started flashing! I had never heard of it. Never read anything about it. In all my researching, I simply could not find anything about it.

Then, while on a lighthouse cruise on the Great Lakes, I met another lighthouse photographer who just happened to have his albums with him. There it was, Cold Spring Harbor Lighthouse. The fellow lighthouse buff was generous enough to give me the owner's telephone number, although he was not sure she was still living.

When I called, this gracious lady was pleased to let us visit the lighthouse, "Why of course my dear," she said.

We had to make arrangements ahead of time, as it was in a gated community on Long Island. The head of security called "Lady Glen" as the locals affectionately called her and we got our permission to go in.

Lady Glen greeted us with iced tea, homemade cookies and the story about her lighthouse.

She said there was a time when the keeper had a piano in the lighthouse and late at night they could hear him playing across the water. The lighthouse had many fond memories for her.

In 1965, when the Coast Guard decided they didn't need the small 1890 lighthouse anymore, she and her husband decided to purchase it. They put it on a barge and moved it to their side of the shore, but on the way it got stuck on a sandbar. They tried every way they could to get it loose. They even tried a large metal cable which snapped and went whishing through the air. If anyone had been in the way, they surely would have been decapitated.

As she recalls they waited nearly a year til the water got deep enough to float the barge again. At last the lighthouse was on their shoreline. That was 30 years ago and she has enjoyed her lighthouse ever since.

Editors note: Sandra Shanklin along with her husband Bob have visited and photographed every lighthouse in the United States. They have published a booklet called, "Bob and Sandra Shanklin's List of all Existing U.S. Lighthouses." It can be obtained from them by sending $6.95 plus $3.00 shipping to them at 517 Thornhill Rd., Ft. Walton Beach, FL 32547.

This story appeared in the November 1995 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

All contents copyright © 1995-2024 by Lighthouse Digest®, Inc. No story, photograph, or any other item on this website may be reprinted or reproduced without the express permission of Lighthouse Digest. For contact information, click here.

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