The average observer of Bug Lighthouse, located on a rock pile in the water just south of the end of might not know that what they are seeing is not the original 1870 structure.
The lighthouse is a detailed replica of the historic building that was burned to ruins by arsonists in 1963. And a newly released documentary called "Long May You Shine," produced by and the gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the people who made the 1990 rebirth of Bug Lighthouse happen.
"We began collecting data and thinking of people to interview about three months ago," said John Costello, who was integral in the reconstruction of the lighthouse.
The 45-minute documentary, filmed by Costello's nephew Mark Costello Higgins, features interviews with community members like Bill Claudio of Fred Schoenstein of , Steve Clark of Clark’s Shipyard, and John and George Costello, all volunteers who made the project happen around the vision of Merlon Wiggin, an East Marioneer who organized and pushed the reconstruction.
Wiggin died in 2008, but the DVD features interviews with his widow, Isabelle, and footage from the late ‘80s of him and architects and builders strategizing on how to get the lighthouse back to the rock. The plan was to transport materials to the rock pile and build on site, but the lighthouse was ultimately built at Clark’s Shipyard in Greenport and shipped to its original location. The documentary features some fascinating step-by-step footage of this transfer.
Call the East End Seaport Museum at 631-477-2100 for more information. The DVD is available for $25 at the museum or at Costello Marine at 631-477-1102.