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Robbins Reef Lighthouse
Robbins Reef is a small ridge of sand just off the northern tip of Staten Island that sits near the entrance to Kill van Kull, a busy three-mile-long waterway between Upper New York Bay and the port in Newark Bay. The first lighthouse at this location was a stone tower constructed in 1839. This 45-foot conical iron "sparkplug" tower was built in 1883 and includes two floors of quarters for lighthouse keepers. The lighthouse is readily visible from the Staten Island ferry a few minutes before arrival at the St. George terminal.
The lighthouse received the nickname "Kate's Light" after Kate Walker (1848-1935), a widow who maintained the lighthouse and raised two children there from 1886 to 1919 following the untimely death of her husband, who was the reconstructed lighthouse's first keeper.
The Coast Guard took over operation of lighthouse in 1939 and it was automated in 1966. It was deemed excess by the Coast Guard in 2009 and offered for sale to the public. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (#06000631).
The octagonal structure to the north of the lighthouse is a sewer outfall constructed in 1915 that discharges sewer overflow from the lower Passaic Valley system.
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