Jeffrey's Hook Light
Jeffrey's Hook Quick Facts
Year Station Established: 1921
Is the Light operational? No
Year Light First Lit: 1880
Tower Height: ft.
Existing Keepers Quarters?
Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse
New York City, NY
(3 photos, 157KB total download)
Last Visited: October, 2000
The Jeffrey's Hook lighthouse, erected in 1880 and moved to its current site in 1921, has become widely known as the children's literary landmark, "The Little Red Lighthouse." The story of the lighthouse in Fort Washington Park was popularized by the children's book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, by Hildegarde H. Swift with illustrations by Lynd Ward, published in 1942. In this fictional account of Jeffrey's Hook lighthouse, the structure was presented as a symbol of the significance of a small thing in a big world. The lighthouse became a celebrated "child's landmark," representing importance and permanence, after the proposed removal of the lighthouse in 1951. The public outcry of children and their allies prompted the preservation of the structure through its transfer to the jurisdiction of the City of New York/Parks & Recreation. The Jeffrey's Hook lighthouse, which formerly had stood as the North Hook Beacon at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, from 1880-1917, was reconstructed in 1921 by the United States Bureau of Lighthouses as part of a project to improve the navigational aids on the Hudson River.
A standard type conical iron tower, painted red, the lighthouse was in operation at Jeffrey's Hook from 1921 to 1947 with a flashing red light and a fog signal. The Jeffrey's Hook lighthouse, the southernmost fixed navigational aid on the Hudson River and the only lighthouse on the island of Manhattan, marked a prominent point projecting into a deep stretch of the river below Mount Washington and is a reminder of a more natural river shoreline than exists today. The erection of the lighthouse at its current site was associated with the importance of river shipping in the first decades of the twentieth century when the New York State Barge Canal system was improved and the deeper Hudson Shipway and the Port of Albany were under development.
For information about visiting the lighthouse, please call the Urban Park Rangers at (212) 304-2365.
- Although there are no doubt better views from the NYC side of the Hudson River, we decided to view the lighthouse from a distance from the New Jersey side of the Hudson River.
- From the NYC side take Route 95 over the George Washington Bridge.
- Once across take the Palisades Parkway North.
- Take exit 1. At the end of the ramp take a left onto E. Palisades Ave.. This will take you onto the Henry Hudson Drive, where you will take a right.
- Follow HH Drive South until you get under the GW Bridge. You can see the lighthouse on the far shore of the river
- Here are some directions by taking the subway:
- Subway: A to 181st St. and walk west to Plaza Lafayette.
- Cross the footbridge and take a left down the path under the overpass.
- Cross over the railroad tracks and follow the path to the left (south). The lighthouse is almost directly under the George Washington Bridge.
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