Nick Carr, film location scout extraordinaire, was exploring islands in New York's waterways when he spotted a lighthouse and its adjacent brick house (for the keeper) perched atop a rocky outcropping. Upon further digging, he learned that the lighthouse on Execution Rocks, located in the Long Island Sound between New Rochelle and the North Shore, was built in 1849 and had a quirky history (and roster of keepers) until it was automated in 1979. After a federal call for help in 2007, a Philadelphia couple stepped up and formed a nonprofit to maintain and restore the petite island's structures. On the long road to raising $1.2 million, they're banking on New Yorkers' sense of adventure and penchant for history, creating three no-frills double rooms and charging guests $150 per person per night to stay there.
A standard tour of the island is $75 per person. In all cases, be they day trips or overnight ones, transport is not included, nor are hotel-like amenities such as bedding, ice, and food. There's a "portable camp toilet serviced by guest," so the prissy need not apply. Needless to say, a stay here is a far cry from bath butlers and pre-Prohibition whiskey.
Prospective visitors to the hotel of sorts shouldn't be worried about the island's name, though; the name Execution Rocks doesn't come, as Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures" would have us believe, from British officials killing American independence-fighters by chaining them to the rocks at low tide. Some (see video clip below) believe their spirits linger on the island. The accepted inspiration for the name is somewhat less romantic: sailors dubbed such because it was all too easy to get snagged on its partially submerged rocks while passing through that part of the Sound.
And lest wary visitors fret about spending the night in such a precarious-looking place in the middle of the water, Sandy battered the island (as seen in the photo below) and there wasn't a speck of interior damage to the lighthouse or the keeper's house, where guests stay.
Scouting NY has more photos and interior shots of the keeper's house. Report back to the tipline if you go.
· Lighthouse Restorations [official]
· A Trip To Execution Rocks: New York's Most Unusual B&B [Scouting NY]
· You Can Spend A Night On This Remote NY Island [Gothamist]
· All Scouting NY posts [Curbed]