In the 19th century, improved navigational aids were required, as the number of commercial vessels increased. In 1825, the Erie Canal was opened, allowing ships to sail from the Great lakes to the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Hudson River, a tidal estuary as far north as Albany. The following year - 1826 - the United States Lighthouse Service built the Stony Point lighthouse to warn ships of the narrowing of Haverstraw Bay at the southern end of the Hudson Highlands.
Eight oil lamps and several metal reflectors provided this station's first light. In 1856, a modified lamp with a fourth-order Fresnel lens was installed, and the following year a wooden tower was built to hold a bell rung by a clockwork device during foggy weather. In 1890, an improved fog bell was placed at the tip of the peninsula near the water.
From 1853 to 1905, members of a single family served as keepers of the Stony Point Light. In May 1853, Alexander Rose was appointed lightkeeper. His wife Nancy succeeded him upon his death, four years later. She died in 1902. Their daughter, Melinda, who lived most of her life at Stony Point, was the lightkeeper between May 1904 and December 1905. In 1935, she wrote:
We were at the lighthouse fifty-three years; in all that time there were no deaths from accidents on the water. That speaks of faithful and conscientious service in keeping the old light burning and in ringing the warning bell in time of danger.
The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1926, and replaced by a modern navigational aid at the tip of the peninsula. In 1995, the Stony Point lighthouse - the oldest on the Hudson River - was restored and relighted.