Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Shining Bright Tonight - Legend Has It Built By 19th Century Patient At Lunatic Asylum

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

According to the Roosevelt Island Historical Society:
...This small lighthouse stands at the northern tip of Roosevelt Island on a projection of land which was at one time a tine separate island connect connected to the main one by a wooden bridge. Local legend maintains that during the 19th century a patient from the nearby Lunatic Asylum was permitted to build a stone fort on this outcropping since he feared an invasion by the British. When plans were formulated to build the lighthouse, this patient allegedly was persuaded to surrender the fort only AFTER much cajoling and a bribe of bogus money. The tale continues that the patient himself demolished the fort and built the new lighthouse, carving the inscription:
This is the work Was done by John McCarthy
Who built the Light House from he bottom to the Top
All ye who do pass by may Pray for his soul when he dies.
While construction of the lighthouse cannot actually be credited to the diligent Mr. Mc Carthy, the warden of the Lunatic Asylum did specially mention in his annual report of 1870 an "industrious bur eccentric" patient who had built near the Asylum a large section of seawall, thereby reclaiming a sizable piece of land....
More info on the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse here.