Robbins Reef Light
|Location||SW Upper New York Bay, 2.6 mi. SE of I-78 Interchange 14A, Bayonne, New Jersey|
|Year first constructed||1839|
|Year first lit||1883 (current structure)|
|Construction||Brick / Cast iron|
|Markings / pattern||Lower half: brown
upper half: white
|Height||45 feet (14 m)|
|Focal height||56 feet (17 m)|
|Original lens||4th order Fresnel lens|
|Current lens||12 inches (300 mm)|
|Range||7 nautical miles (13 km; 8.1 mi)|
|Characteristic||Flashing Green, 6s|
Robbins Reef Light Station
|Architect||U.S. Lighthouse Board|
|MPS||Light Stations of the United States MPS|
|NRHP Reference #||06000631|
|Added to NRHP||July 19, 2006|
The Robbins Reef Light Station is a sparkplug lighthouse located off Constable Hook in Bayonne, Hudson County, New Jersey, United States, along the west side of Main Channel, Upper New York Bay. The tower and integral keepers quarters were built in 1883. It replaced an octagonal granite tower built in 1839. The U.S. Coast Guard owned and operated the light station until the 2000s.
The light is located on a small ridge of sand named Robyn's Rift by the Dutch settlers of the area. The reef is now called Robbins Reef. It is situated near the entrance to the Kill van Kull, a strait connecting New York Bay to Newark Bay. The channel is one of the most heavily used in the Port of New York and New Jersey, accessing Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal.
The name derives from the New Netherland era of the 17th century. In Dutch rob or robyn means seal, groups of which would sometimes lie on the reef at low tide. The structure is also called Kate's Light for Kate Walker who "manned" the station alone after the death of her husband Captain John Walker in 1886, until 1919. She rowed her children to school on Staten Island. Herman Westgate was the last keeper of the lighthouse before it was finally automated. In 2009 Robbins Reef was put up for sale under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. In 2011, the Noble Maritime Collection, a maritime museum on Staten Island, was granted stewardship of the light station by the U.S. General Services Administration. The octagonal structure near Robbins Reef Lighthouse is not the base of the original 1839 tower but rather a sewer outfall that was constructed around 1915.
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Hudson County, New Jersey
- Geography of New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary
- Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2010. p. 303.
- "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: New York". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Note that although the light is clearly shown on the USGS topo in Hudson County, New Jersey, it is listed on this site as being in New York State.
- Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of the United States: New Jersey". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Robbins Reef Lighthouse at Lighthousefriends
- Roberts, Bruce and Jones, Ray, Lighthouses of New York, Globe Pequot Press, Guilford CT, 2008
- "NHLPA 2009 Program, Notices of Availability". www.nps.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robbins Reef Light.|
- Noble Maritime Collection virtual tour of Robbins Reef Light Station
- Robbins Reef Data for station ID 8530973, Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System NOAA.
- Robbins Reef Light in NPS.
- Kate Walker, Keeper of Robbins Reef Light, 1894–1919, National Lighthouse Museum, 2001.
- Robbins Reef Lighthouse Lighthouses of the New Jersey Shore.
- Mind the Light, Katie: The History of Thirty-three Female lighthouse Keepers, Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford, 2006. (ISBN 0-9636412-7-1)
- "3 Poems (from Robbins Reef Light)", Joel Lewis, Jacket Magazine 23, August, 2003.
- Navesink Lighthouse and Robbins Reef Lighthouse: Lighting the Way Through New York Bay, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson plan