Even though my first viewing of the children’s film Pete’s Dragon left me inconsolable for days (Disney films were a bit darker in 1977), its setting also sparked in me a great love for lighthouses. That bit of personal history might have added an extra gloss of romance and nostalgia to our visit to New York’s Saugerties Lighthouse, but the place certainly didn’t need it. The restored 1869 structure sits in the Hudson River at the mouth of Esopus Creek, and we had a perfectly clear and crisp-but-not-cold November weekend to enjoy the views and the grounds. When we tired of that, the coal-burning stove in the sitting room invited us to camp out on the sofa and read the afternoon away.
While in town, we also enjoyed an amazing supper at Miss Lucy’s Kitchen and lighthouse keeper Patrick Landewe was kind enough to make the coffee the next morning. He also produced a lovely breakfast of scrambled eggs and pancakes topped with stewed apples, all made on a stove that had clearly attended a few breakfasts across the decades. Meanwhile, I coveted the fridge, which might not have been all that energy efficient, but made up for it in charm.
We also had the chance to check out the lighthouse museum and to climb up inside the tower during our visit, but you can catch the views at home thanks to a webcam that streams live footage. In another mark of the 21st century on this otherwise historically preserved and reconstructed space, whale oil has been forsaken and the light is now solar powered.
The bed was soft, the night was long, and we left ready if not exactly willing to return to our own post-holiday reality. If you’d like to check out more photos of this glorious place, you can view a few more of my shots here or go directly to the lighthouse site to plan a visit.