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Esopus Meadows Lighthouse on the Hudson River In New York

Updated on January 13, 2016
ThelmaC profile image

Thelma Raker Coffone is an award-winning writer who enjoys writing on a variety of topics, especially lighthouses.


Esopus Meadows Lighthouse Withstands the Test of Time

Lighthouses have been lighting our waterways for hundreds of years and all the while have been coping with the threat of deterioration from the effects of marine air, high winds, waves, ice and malicious damage. Such is the case of the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse on the Hudson River in New York.

Built in 1871 on the Hudson River near Esopus, New York and approximately 100 miles north of New York City, its job was to warn mariners of mud flats known as the Esopus Meadows off the western shore of the river. Fondly called "The Maid of the Meadows", it is the last wooden lighthouse on the Hudson River.

The structure was built atop piles that were driven into the riverbed, making it an island unto itself only accessible by water. Therefore, it was designed to be a "family lighthouse" with the keeper and his family living within.

During the 1960s, there was a movement to automate lighthouses making them unmanned facilities for obvious economic reasons. Without lighthouse keepers, these structures suffered serious problems from vandalism and theft. Such was the case in 1965 at Esopus Meadows Light. In addition, it was facing a deteriorating foundation due to Mother Nature and several barges colliding with it. The future did not look bright for the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse.

Learn More About Hudson River Lighthouses

Saving Esopus Meadows Lighthouse

Arline Fitzpatrick spent summers at the lighthouse with her aunt and uncle who were the lighthouse keepers from 1937 to 1944. When she returned to the area in the 1980s, the lighthouse was in a state of ruin and its demolition was on the horizon. She leased the lighthouse from the Coast Guard, formed the "Save Esopus Lighthouse Commission" (SELC) and recruited volunteers to begin the long and arduous task of restoration.

The National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 was created to turn over federally-owned lighthouses to private organizations. In 2002, ownership of the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse was turned over to Arline's commission.

Visit the Maid of the Meadows

Tours for the enjoyment of lighthouse enthusiasts are available through the SELC with the proceeds going toward maintenance and upkeep. Boat tours originate at the Hudson River Maritime Museum and information is available at

If you would like to view the lighthouse from the shore, Lighthouse Park on the west bank of the Hudson or Mills Mansion on the east shore offer the best viewing locations.

A markerEsopus Meadows Lighthouse NY -
Esopus Meadow Lighthouse, 255 Co Road 24, Ulster Park, NY 12487, USA
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How do you Rate Esopus Meadows Lighthouse as a recommended lighthouse to visit?

4 out of 5 stars from 3 ratings of Esopus Meadows Lighthouse

Esopus Meadows Lighthouse from Across the Hudson River


© 2011 Thelma Raker Coffone

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    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 5 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Thanks for the compliment Emilybee. I have a lot more lighthouse stories planned for the future!

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 5 years ago

      Nice lighthouse hubs you have! I love learning about lighthouses. Great hub, Voted up.

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 5 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA


      Thanks for the nice comments. I look forward to reading more of your lighthouse hubs in the future and I am planning several more about lighthouses myself. Thank goodness for the efforts being made to save them!

    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

      Barbara Anne Helberg 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @ThelmaC...This is very nicely done. I enjoyed the Hub, and learning about this light on the Hudson. Lighthouses throughout the world are taking a beating, and helping to save just one is a worthy undertaking.

      It seems people are getting more creative in ways to save lights, too!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Never saw one I didn't love, even if they're in need of repair, but my favorite is the Currituck Lighthouse in the Outer Banks, NC. Fellow hubber, Stephanie Henkel includes it in her hub, "A Lighthouse Tour of the Outer Banks of North Carolina."

      There is a museum, keepers shop, park like grounds, nature center, and the Whalehead Club House within walking distance and the view of the Currituck sound is incredible.

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Happyboomernurse thanks for your kind words and UP vote. I have never visited this lighthouse but I have added it to my list of must sees next time I visit family in New York. Do you have a favorite lighthouse?

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Welcome to Hub Pages Thelma C. I really enjoyed this hub and am a big lighthouse enthusiast. Used to live in the Hudson Valley and am very familiar with this particular light house. Am glad it's being restored. Am voting this hub up.