Nautical Museum at Horton Point Lighthouse

3575 Lighthouse Rd., Southold, NY 11971 - United States




Printed ticket required

The Southold Historical Museum was founded in 1960 to "promote interest in and education about the history of Southold and to bring together those persons who desire to discover, acquire, preserve, maintain, and exhibit historic sites, buildings, and relics.”

Since our inception, our mission is still focused and clear. The Southold Historical Museum preserves and interprets collections that engage, educate and connect the public to Southold’s history and culture. We support initiatives that promote the sustainability of our historic past.

The Southold Historical Museum is one of the leading cultural institutions located on the North Fork of Long Island, New York. Founded in 1960, the Museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting the rich history of our region. To do this, the Museum maintains a headquarters and archive, as well as a number of historically significant buildings which exhibit some of the Museum's vast collections.


Southold Historical Museum is eager to once again welcome visitors back to the Nautical Museum at Horton Point Lighthouse. Beginning May 28, the museum will reopen for the season. For several years now, the Museum has transformed the Baymen’s Room into a seasonal exhibit space. This season’s exhibit is titled “Undercover: Stories of Rum Running in Southold.” With the passing of the 18th Amendment in 1920, Prohibition became law across the country. But when there is a demand, so comes supply. Boats supplying alcohol anchored just past the territorial borders, often in a row (hence the name “rum row”) so that those who dared might “run” out via a smaller boat to purchase alcohol or rum (rum runners). The exhibit explores stories of local residents such as Sparky Coyle and Betty Hohnhorst who recalled the activities of the era.

Horton Point Lighthouse is one of seven historic lighthouses located in Southold Township. The tower and adjoining keeper’s residence are built on the "Cliff Lot" of Barnabas Horton's original 1640 land grant. The tower is 58 feet tall and once held a 3rd order Fresnel lens. Southold Historical Museum maintains a nautical museum in the first floor of the former keeper’s house. Visitors can also climb the tower for spectacular views of Long Island Sound and Connecticut.

For further information contact the Southold Historical Museum at 631-765-5500 or email: [email protected]

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