Thomas F. Roberts III Honored For His Contributions to the Preservation of Fire Island Lighthouse

Owen H. Johnson

January 06, 2012

Thomas F. Roberts III, founding President of the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society, was honored with a New York Senate Proclamation by Senator Owen H. Johnson at the Fire Island Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters on Saturday, December 3, 2011.  Senator Johnson joined with the Board of Directors of the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society, Inc. in recognizing Tom Roberts and other individuals who volunteered their time or contributed to the organization and the Fire Island Lighthouse.

“I am proud to honor and recognize Tom Roberts for his commitment to the preservation of the Fire Island Lighthouse,” Senator Johnson said.  “I want to thank Tom for his resolve in preserving this historic landmark.  It is a tribute to him that the Fire Island Lighthouse is once again a working navigational tool and a guiding beacon to mariners visible from twenty-four miles at sea.”

Thomas F. Roberts III has been at the forefront of the Fire Island Lighthouse preservation, first spearheading  the formation of the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society, Inc. in 1979.  He was instrumental in having ownership of the lighthouse transferred from the US Coast Guard to the National Park Service and led efforts to raising millions of dollars to restore and illuminate the Lighthouse in 1986.  His most recent accomplishments were securing the first order Fresnel Lens from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia where it was stored, and overseeing the construction of its protective building.

Currently, over 120,000 people visit the exhibit center and gift shop within the Fire Island Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters each year.  Tower tours and school field trips offer invaluable information to visitors about our national heritage.  For many European immigrants, the Fire Island Light was the first sight of land upon arrival to America as it guided mariners into New York Harbor.

Photograph from left to right:  Marilyn Roberts; Thomas F. Roberts III; and NY State Senator Owen H. Johnson.