|VOL. XXVIII No. II|
There was a Pt. Lookout Station In 1837
In the first of our series of articles on Point Lookout published in the May 1974 issue of THE COMMUNITY OUTLOOK we stated that "Point Lookout is not an old community in the usual sense. It doesn't have a 250 year old building (nor a 150 year old one for that mat ter). " We didn't know it at the time but we were a bit premature. This is what we have since learned.
Our friend and neighbor. Albert Thompson. is preparing a history of The. Community Church and a substantial pnrtion oftha! history will cover people and events during the last forty years. However, he also wants to determine the background of the Coast Guard installation which previously occupied the Church property. Accordingly, he wrote during this past summer to the Coast Guard Headquarters on Governors Island and in due course received an interesting story of what they refer to as "Point Lookout Lifeboat Station." In 1855 the United States Government received a deed from Nassau authorities which gave the Government the right to occupy the easterly end of Long Beach for the purpose of lifesaving.
The local Coast Guard records are not entirely complete but they show that a station known as Point Lookout was situated on that property in 1878 (that's almost 100 years ago.) In 1908 a severe storm made it necessary to erect new buildings and to repair others. In 1928 Lookout Point Inc., the developing company, bought up all the land around the station but the rights of the Governnment created difficulties until 1933 when they were resolved by formal agreement. In 1937 the station was placed in an inactive status and formally abandoned about ten years later when the church took over the property.
It is interesting to note that the former station at the Point was referred to in three different ways. Most recently it was called U.S. Coast Guard Station Numbel 89. Earlier, it was called the Point Lookout Lifeboat Station and apparently the original name was Point Lookout Lighthouse Station. We have no information at present about the operation of a lighthouse at the Point.
A further interesting story developed when Mr. Thompson was informed that additional data could be obtained by writing to the National Archives in Washington. From that source he learned that the Archives contain 96 logs covering the "Point Lookout Lighthouse Station" from January 1837 to May 1937. Copies of the logs can be obtained so much a page, and of course, they are also available for visual inspection free of charge. Perhaps some day a member of the Historical Committee will have the time to review those logs. But this information indicates that there was a station at Point Lookout since 1837 and that is 138 years ago.This is the sixth in a series of articles being prepared by the Historical Committee of the Civic Association of Point Lookout.