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Lighthouses in New Jersey

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New Jersey Lighthouses

Absecon Lighthouse
Rhode Island & Pacific Avenues, Atlantic City
609-441-9272
A 171 foot lighthouse built in 1957. It is NJ's only lighthouse which retains its original first-order Fresnel lens. Over its history, the Absecon Lighthouse has been a proud symbol of Atlantic City. While guiding vessels away from the treacherous Absecon Shoals, the lighthouse served as host to thousands of visitors through the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, making it the oldest man-made tourist attraction on the Jersey shore. The current restoration program of the Inlet Public/ Private Association will restore this historic tower to its former glory, preserving it for future generations and making it accessible to thousands of visitors of all ages.


Ambrose Lightstation
A Texas-tower type lighthouse situated in 70 feet of water about eight miles east of Sandy Hook. The tower was built in 1967 as an automated light and weather station. It was damaged by a ship in 1997 and dismantled and replaced by a $2.4 million structure in 1999 and is now controlled electronically from the Coast Guard station on Governor's Island.


Barnegat Lighthouse
Barnegat Light State Park, Barnegat Light
609-494-2016
A 165 foot lighthouse bulit in 1858 located on the northern tip of Long Beach Island. It replaces one earlier lighthouse built in 1835; the second lighthouse you refer to was a temporary wooden tower. The lens was a first order Fresnel lens rotated by a clockwork type mechanism. The lens was removed in the 1930's and is now on exhibit in the Barnegat Light Historical Museum. The Park is open year round.  The lighthouse is open 7 days a week from 9-4:30 from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and from 9-3:30 Wed. through Sunday the rest of the year.  During the summer months there is a fee of $1.00  to climb the tower payable by persons 12 years old and above.

Brandywine Shoal Lighthouse
Built in1850, this lighthouse replaced a lightship that had marked the shoal since 1823. It was the first screwpile lighthouse to be constructed in the United States. In 1914 it was replaced by the current caisson type lighthouse. The light was automated in 1974 and was converted to solar power in 1999.


Cape May Lighthouse
Cape May Point, Cape May
609-884-5404
Bulit in 1859, the current lighthouse replaces 3 others that were stood nearby in the 1700-1800's. It is 170 feet tall with 8 foot thick walls. The Fresnel lens was removed in 1945 and was replaced by a 36-inch rotating aero-beacon lens, equipped with a 1,000 watt bulb. This arrangement produced 350,000 candle-power. The lighthouse lens flashes once every fifteen seconds. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts is currently leasing the lighthouse from the state, and has restored and repainted the lighthouse to its former glory.


Chapel Hill Lighthouse
Roebling Drive, off Kings Highway East, Chapel Hill
Built in 1856 at 40 feet, the Chapel Hill Lighthouse was used until 1957 when it was sold at an auction to an amateur astronomer for $16, 313. Since then, the lighthouse has passed through a number of owners, and remains a private residence. Please respect the owner's privacy.


East Point Lighthouse
at the mouth of the Maurice River, Heislerville
856-327-3714
Built in 1849 it was formerly known as the Maurice River Lighthouse. The lighthouse was blacked out during World War II and the Coast Guard decided the lighthouse was no longer necessary and in December, 1941 it was decommissioned. In 1971, the Maurice River Historical Society was founded with the goal of restoring the lighthouse and since then have replaced the lantern and roof, bricks have been repointed and shutters added. The lighthouse is not open to the public on any regular basis, however it is open for the Maurice River Historical Society's Annual Open House the first Saturday in August.


Finns Point Rear Range Light
Fort Mott & Lighthouse Roads, Pennsville
856-935-1487
A 115 foot tall iron tower with skeleton support structure was built in 1877. The iron rings that make up the tower were driven to the site by Army mule trains driven by soldiers. It was automated in 1939, but discontinued in 1951. In 1981 local citizens formed a "Save the Lighthouse Committee" to refurbish the tower. The lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is part of Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. It is usually open the third Sunday of each month from April to October from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
1st & Central Avenues
North Wildwood, N.J., 08260
609-522-4520
Built in 1874 on the north end of Five Mile Beach. Its purpose was to mark the entrance of the inlet for the coal trade and other small steamers navigating the coastal waters. It is built in a style known as Swiss Gothic and it is the only one of this type on the East Coast. In 1913, the lighthouse was moved inland (150 feet to the west). It was discontinued in 1964and superceded by a nearby iron tower. The lighthouse was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1977. In 1986, the light was relighted and is still maintained by the Coast Guard.


Miah Maull Lighthouse
Delaware Bay
The lighthouse was constructed in 1909. It is an automated light, maintained by the USCG ANT (Aids to Navigation)Team in Cape May. A few years ago the "skirt" awning that covered the lower walkway was removed.


Navesink Twin Lights
Twin Lights Historic Site
Lighthouse Road, Highlands
732-872-1814
In 1828 and rising rising 200 feet above sea level, the first "twin lights" wer built. They were two identical unconnected towers and became the first lighthouses in the United States to be equipped with Fresnel lens, the first light to be fueled by kerosene and the electrically powered lighthouse. At the time, the south tower became the most powerful lighthouse in the country, producing a light of 25,000,000 candle-power that could be seen 22 miles at sea, though there were reports of it having been seen as far away as 70 miles. The light-station was used until it was decommissoned by the Coast Guard in 1949. The huge bivalve lens was acquired by the Boston Museum of Science and Technology from the Coast Guard in 1951, and placed on exhibit there. In 1960, the facility became a New Jersey State Historic site and in 1979 the Fresnel lens was returned home to Twin Lights. Today, the museum is open to the public and features well-interpreted exhibits of lighthouse, Life-Saving Service and other memorabilia


Sandy Hook Lighthouse
Gateway National Recreation Area, Fort Hancock
732-872-5970
The 103 foot Sandy Hook Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in the country, casting it's first beam on June 11, 1764 and was formerly know as the New York Lighthouse. During the American Revolution the lighthouse became a point of contention between the antagonists. In early 1776, the NY congress resolved to destroy the light so as not to aid the enemy. On March 6, the lens and lamps were removed in secret. A British landing party relit the tower using improvised lamps and reflectors, but on June 6, the Americans used a cannon to damage the tower somewhat before being driven off by an approaching armed vessel. After the war, President Washington wrote a letter to the keeper of the Sandy Hook lighthouse directing him to keep the light tended until Congress could provide funds for its upkeep. In 1857 the main light underwent extensive repairs, including a new edifice, a brick lining inside the tower, and iron steps which replaced the worn wooden ones. There is a "legend" about a secret cellar under the main light, which, when opened in 1857, revealed a skeleton sitting at a table in front of a crude fireplace, but when the keeper's house was torn down there has not been any documented proof which would confirm or deny the story. In 1867 the East Beacon became the first light in the United States to be equipped with a steam driven fog siren and lasted until 1883. It also became the first lighthouse in the country to be lit by electric incandescent lamps. In 1964, the lighthouse celebrated its 200th Anniversary and was dedicated as a National Historic Landmark and presented a scroll and plaque to Captain J. H. Wagline, Chief of Staff of the Third Coast Guard District which maintains the light. The plaque was bolted to the base of the lighthouse. The lighthouse and surrounding Fort Hancock are part of Gateway National Recreation Area today. The lighthouse is still in active operation and is equipped with a 3rd order Fresnel lens illuminated by a 1000 watt bulb, remitting 45,000 candle-power and it is visible 19 miles at sea. In 1996, the ownership of the lighthouse was transferred from the Coast Guard to the National Park Service. Open to the public on weekends April thru November.


Sea Girt Lighthouse
Beacon and Ocean Blvds, Sea Girt
732-974-0514
A 52 foot lgihtouse built in 1896 to
illuminate the long stretch of unbroken coast between Barnegat Inlet and Sandy Hook. Formerly known as the Squan Inlet Light-Station, it became the first shore light-station to be equipped with a radio fog signal. The lighthouse was used until 1955, and it 1980 a group was formed with the intention of restoring the lighthouse. The Sea Girt Lighthouse Citizens Committee leased the property from the town for twenty-five years. The group was incorporated in 1981, and consists of over 200 members. It is open to the public on various Sundays from late Spring to early Fall. Call for schedule.


Ship John Shoal Lighthouse
Delaware Bay, Off Fortesque
Built in 1877 and named after a ship carrying a cargo from Hamburg, Germany grounded on a shoal near the mouth of the Cohansey Creek. It sits on a caisson foundation with a steel cylinder sunken 30 feet below the surface of the water and filled with rock. This foundation was then surrounded by rip-rap, to ward off ice cloes and protect the structure from sea action. The light flashes white on the channel side and red on the shoal side, and is of 20,000 candle-power. The lighthouse is also equipped with compressed aid fog-horns which emit a blast every 20 seconds when in use. A Victorian-style cottage sits atop the caisson foundation, and has a copper roof, and quaint paned windows.


Tinicum Island Range
in front of the Mobile Oil Refinery, Paulsboro
856-423-1505 • 856-423-2545
A 112 foot steel skeleton tower, built in the late 1970's or early 1980's and replaced the frame dwelling and light tower that was built in 1880. The two lights on the towers, one facing north and one facing south. Like the wooden tower it replaced, this light serves as the front range light for two ranges - the Tinicum Range (pointing downriver) and the Mifflin range (pointing up-river). It is open to the public on the third weekend from April to October.


Tucker's Island Lighthouse
Tuckerton Seaport
120 West Main St, Tuckerton
609-296-8868
In 1868, a two-story lighthouse was erected on Tucker's Island with a tower above, painted black, 50 feet above sea level. The light sent a beam of six red flashes, followed by one short white flash and was visible twelve miles out to sea. The lighthouse was swept into the sea in 1927. A replica of Tucker's Island Lighthouse is to be the centerpiece of the Tuckerton Seaport. This Interpretive Center will contain displays, artifacts and antique photos of the settlement and life on the island, and of its reclamation by the sea.



Other Lighthouse Links:

New Jersey Lighthouse Society

Lighthouses Online
USAlights.COM
The Worlds Lighthouses
Lightships & Lifesaving Stations
Lighthouse Getaway
National Maritime Initiative
Publicly Accessible Lighthouses
Douglas Johnstone Jr.'s NJ Lighthouse Page
IPL: Lighthouses -
A Photographic Journey
Night Beacons
Lighthouse Digest
Ed Quigley's Lighhouse Page

 

 
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