Lighthouses of the United States: New Jersey
The U.S. state of New Jersey is on the Atlantic coast
south of New York. New York Harbor and the Hudson River estuary are
on the northeastern border of the state, while Delaware Bay and the
Delaware River estuary are on the southwestern border. Thus New Jersey
has the form of a peninsula with navigable waters on three sides.
Most of the ocean coastline is low and sandy, with barrier islands
broken by occasional inlets.
New Jersey is home to the oldest U.S. lighthouse (Sandy Hook)
and several other very historic light stations. Lighthouse preservation
is strong in the state. Nearly all the onshore towers have support
groups working actively for their restoration and maintenance, and
it would be hard to name another area of comparable size with so
many historic lighthouses as fully preserved as those of the New
Jersey shore. The New Jersey Lighthouse
provides guidance and support at the state level.
Navigational aids in the United States are operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, but ownership (and sometimes operation) of historic lighthouses has been transferred to local authorities and preservation organizations in many cases. Lighthouses in the New York area are the responsibility of the Coast Guard First District, while those in the rest of the state fall under the Fifth District.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume J of the
Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. USCG light list numbers
for New York Harbor lighthouses, including Sandy Hook and Navesink, are
from Vol. I of the U.S. Coast Guard Light List. The remaining
USCG numbers are from Vol. II.
- General Sources
- New Jersey Lighthouse Society
- The society works for the preservation of all the state's light stations.
The web site includes an index page for New
Jersey Lighthouses, with links to information on all the sites.
- Delaware River and
Bay Lighthouse Foundation
- This web site carries information and news about New Jersey lighthouses
on the Delaware estuary.
- Excellent photos, historical information, and travel directions from
- Online List of
Lights - U.S. East Coast
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
- Lighthouses in New Jersey
- Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Guard Lighthouses - New Jersey
- Historic photos and notes posted by the U.S. Coast Guard Historian's
of New Jersey
- Excellent photos by Ann Searle.
in New Jersey, United States
- Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
USA auf historischen Postkarten
- Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
- NOAA Nautical Chart On-Line Viewer: Atlantic
- Nautical charts for the coast can be viewed online.
- U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center: Light Lists
- The USCG Light List can be downloaded in pdf format.
Sandy Hook Light, Middletown, July 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Oliver J. Lopena
Sea Girt Light, Sea Girt, June 2011
Flickr Creative Commons photo by hatchski
New York Harbor Lighthouses
(see also Downstate New York)
- Hudson County (Upper New York Bay) Lighthouses
Note: By several odd twists of history, Liberty
Island is part of New York even though the surrounding waters are part
of New Jersey. For this reason the Statue of Liberty is considered to be a
New York lighthouse while the nearby Robbins Reef Light is a New Jersey lighthouse.
To avoid this confusion, both lighthouses are described on both pages.
- *** Lightship
107 (WAL 529) Winter Quarter
- 1923 (Bath Iron Works, Bath ME). Decommissioned 1968. 2-masted steel lightship;
length 132 ft (40 m), beam 30 ft (9 m). The light was shown from a small lantern
on the foremast. Hull painted red, superstructure white. A 2009 photo
is available, the Coast Guard has the ship's history,
and Google has a satellite
view and a distant street view. The ship was stationed at Cape Lookout, North Carolina, at Winter Quarter Shoal, Virginia, and off the Delaware Capes. After retirement the lightship was sent to
Hampton, Virginia, to be a museum, but it isn't clear if it was ever used in this
way. By 1984 it was at a shipbreaker's yard in Bordentown, New Jersey, from which it
was rescued by its current owner. The ship is well maintained, although its
interior has been gutted and replaced with offices and a restaurant. Moored
State Park near the Statue of Liberty in Jersey City. Site open; vessel's
restaurant open from lunchtime through late evening daily. Owner/site manager:
Liberty Landing Marina.
- * Statue
- 1886 (Auguste Bartholdi). Inactive as a lighthouse since 1902. This 305
ft (93 m) monumental sculpture certainly needs no description. The torch
of the statue was originally designed as a navigation beacon, and it was
so used until 1902. The Statue of Liberty is one of America's best known
symbols and a very popular destination for tourists. Closed after the 9-11
attacks of 2001, the interior of the statue reopened in August 2004. Google
has a street view and an aerial
view. Located on Liberty Island (formerly Bedloe's Island) in New York
Harbor off Jersey City. Accessible by passenger
ferry (toll) from Battery Park, Manhattan, and from Liberty State Park,
Jersey City. Site and statue open daily. Owner: U.S. National Park Service.
Site manager: Statue of Liberty National
Reef (Kate's Light)
- 1883. Active; focal plane 56 ft (17 m); green flash every 6 s. 45
ft (14 m) cast iron sparkplug
tower with lantern and double gallery, incorporating 3-story keeper's
quarters, mounted on a granite caisson; 300 mm lens. Lower half of
lighthouse painted brown, upper half white, lantern black. J. Stephen Conn's photo is at right, Trabas has a photo, Tom Link has another
Dirden has a photo, and Google has a satellite
view. The lighthouse is nicknamed for Kate
Walker (1846-1931), its legendary keeper, who tended the light
from 1894 to 1919. In 2009 the lighthouse became available for transfer
under NHLPA, and in 2010 the National Park Service approved its transfer to the Noble Maritime Collection, a Staten Island museum.
The museum has a web page for the lighthouse. In October 2012 the lighthouse was heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Volunteers have struggled for several years with repairs; Lighthouse Digest has a September 2014 report on these efforts. Located off Bayonne, about 2 miles (3 km) southwest of the Statue
of Liberty. The lighthouse is a familiar sight for passengers of the Staten
Island Ferry. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed.
Owner: Noble Maritime Collection. Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-695; Admiralty J1156;
Middlesex County (Raritan Bay) Lighthouse
- 1880. Active; focal plane 61 ft (18.5 m); red flash every 6 s.
60 ft (18 m) sparkplug tower
with lantern and upper and lower galleries, including 3-story keeper's
quarters, mounted on a cast iron caisson; 155 mm lens. Lighthouse
painted white, including lantern. Hance Gesell has a good photo,
Trabas has Michael Boucher's photo, Marinas.com has good aerial
photos, and Bing has an aerial
view. This light belongs
to a class of sparkplug towers smaller than the Robbin's Reef Light.
Standing very nearly on the state line, it is often listed as a
New York lighthouse. In fact, construction of the lighthouse was
delayed while New York and New Jersey squabbled over which state
had control of the site. Located in the mouth of the Raritan River
off South Amboy. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed.
Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-344; Admiralty J1058;
Robbins Reef Light, Upper New York Bay, June 2011
Flickr Creative Commons photo by J. Stephen Conn
Northern Monmouth County (Sandy Hook Bay) Lighthouses
- * [Waackaack
Range Rear (3)]
- 1894 (station established 1856). Inactive since the 1950s. The lighthouse,
a 105 ft (32 m) cast iron skeletal tower,
was demolished in the late 1950s despite protests from local residents who
wanted to preserve it. The 2-story wood keeper's house survives and is in
use as a private residence. NJLHS has a good page
for the light station, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial
view. Located at 203 Creek Road, between Terrace Place and Frances Place, in Keansburg. Site closed
(private) but the house can be viewed from the street. ARLHS USA-935.
- * Conover
Beacon (Chapel Hill Range Front) (2)
- 1926; relocated here in 1941 (station established 1856). Inactive since
1957; charted as a landmark. 40 ft (12 m) square steel conical tower with lantern, gallery, and
central cylinder, painted in broad red and white stripes. Searle has a good photo,
the Coast Guard has a historic
photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial
view. The Coast Guard also has a photo of the original
light at this station, which was similar to the original Elm
Tree Light on Staten Island. The present tower was originally the second
Point Comfort Light (the front range light of the Waackaack
Range) and was located at Point Comfort in Keansburg. Huelse has a historic postcard
view showing both lighthouses at that location. The tower was repainted
red and white in the 1990s by the Leonardo Taxpayer’s Association;
the original colors were black and white. In 2004, the lighthouse property
was transferred to Monmouth County for management by Middletown Township
as a public recreation area. The tower fell into very poor condition now and
was much in need of restoration; in January 2007 Lighthouse Digest added
the light to its Doomsday List. In 2007, a Friends of Conover Beacon Society
was being organized to
assist with restoration. The tower was repainted and dropped from the Doomsday List, but very little or nothing has been done since, according to an April 2014 visitor. Located on Sandy
Hook Bay between Leonard and Roop Avenues off NJ 36 in Leonardo. Site open,
tower closed. Owner: Monmouth County. Site manager: Middletown
Township. ARLHS USA-191.
- * Chapel
Hill Range Rear
- 1856 (Richard Carlow). Inactive since 1957. 31 ft (9.5 m) square cylindrical
wood tower and lantern on the roof of a 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house. A
4th order Fresnel lens (uncertain date) from this lighthouse is on display at the Navesink Twin Lights
Museum. NJLHS has a page for the lighthouse, and Bing has an aerial
view. The lighthouse was sold as a private residence when it was deactivated
in 1957. In its original form, as seen in the Coast Guard's historic
photo, the lighthouse was a sibling of the New
Dorp Light on Staten Island. Subsequent owners have expanded the house.
Located off Roebling Drive in Leonardo, inside Sandy Hook. Site and tower
closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-153.
- 1898. Active; focal plane 54 ft (16.5 m); 2 white flashes every 15
s. 54 ft (16.5 m) sparkplug tower
with lantern, double gallery above and a lower gallery as well; including
3-story keeper's quarters; and mounted on a cast iron caisson protected
by stone riprap; 190 mm lens. Lower half of tower painted white, upper
half red. Fog horn (2 s blast every 15 s). Jeremy D'Entremont's 2008
photo is at right,
Marinas.com has aerial
photos, and Bing has a satellite view. The shoal is named for the pilot boat William J. Romer,
which sank after running aground here in 1863. The tower was built
originally as an experimental lighthouse at the Lighthouse Depot on
Staten Island, New York. The Coast Guard repainted the lighthouse in
2008. In October 2011, the lighthouse was sold for $90,000 to John Vincent Scalia, a Staten Island businessman. Scalia is working in support of the proposed National Lighthouse Museum and set up a nonprofit organization to manage the lighthouse. However, the lighthouse was damaged by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 and needs substantial repairs. In 2014 it was named one of New Jersey's ten most endangered historic properties. Fortunately, in December 2014 it received a grant of $501,000 in Hurricane Sandy relief funds. Located on a reef about 4 km (2.5 mi) north of Sandy Hook. Accessible
only by boat. Site and tower closed; tours are available occasionally. Owner/site manager: Romer Shoal Lighthouse. Operator: U.S. Coast
Guard. ARLHS USA-701; Admiralty J1090; USCG 1-35070.
- * [Sandy
Hook Point (Sandy Hook West Beacon; Sandy Hook North Beacon) (4?)]
- 1917? (station established 1817). Active; focal plane 38 ft (11.5
m); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 35 ft (10.5 m) square cylindrical skeletal
tower with a small enclosure at the base. Fog bell (stroke every 10
s). Trabas has a photo, and Bing has an aerial
view. This tower replaced an 1880 cast iron lighthouse, which was
relocated to Jeffrey's
Hook, upper Manhattan, in 1921 (it became famous there as "The
Little Red Lighthouse"). Located inside the tip of Sandy Hook at the
northern entrance to Sandy Hook Bay. Site open. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard.
Site manager: U.S. National Park Service (Gateway
National Recreation Area). ARLHS USA-1036; Admiralty J1040; USCG
Atlantic Coast Lighthouses
- Eastern Monmouth County Lighthouses
- **** Sandy
- 1764 (Isaac Conro). Active; focal plane 88 ft (27 m); continuous white
light, day and night. 85 ft (26 m) octagonal rubblestone tower (brick lined)
with lantern and gallery, 3rd order Fresnel lens (1857). Tower painted white,
lantern red. 2-1/2 story Victorian keeper's house (1883). Oliver Lopena's photo is at the top of this page,
Wikimedia has numerous photos, Trabas has C.W. Bash's photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos,
and Google has a street view and a satellite
view. This is the oldest U.S. lighthouse and the only light tower surviving
from the colonial period. Lighthouse Digest has an article on the lighthouse during the American Revolution; the lighthouse fell into
the hands of British troops, and efforts by the Americans to destroy it failed.
Ownership of the light station was transferred to the National Park Service
in 1996. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the lighthouse reopened
10 June 2000 after a $600,000 restoration.
Greg Jansky has posted a page of photos taken during the restoration. In 2005-06, the keeper's house was renovated
as a visitor center with a museum and offices for the Sandy
Hook Foundation and New Jersey Lighthouse
Society. The 250th anniversary of the lighthouse was celebrated in June 2014. Located about 1-1/2 miles south of the point of Sandy Hook
at the entrance to New York harbor. Site open daily (entrance is free,
but there is a parking fee in the summer); visitor center open and tours
of the tower available during the afternoon, daily April through October
and on weekends during the rest of the year. Owner: U.S. National Park
Service. Site manager: Gateway National Recreation Area.
ARLHS USA-731; Admiralty J1036; USCG 1-35040.
- #Ambrose (2)
- 1999 (station established 1967). Demolished in 2008. This was a 76 ft (23 m) platform carrying a light on a square equipment building, supported by four robust piles. The light stood near the beginning of the Ambrose Channel, the principal channel for entering New York Harbor. Lightships were employed here as early as 1823, and the last lightship Ambrose is on display at the South Street Seaport Museum in lower Manhattan, New York. In 1967 the lightship was replaced by a "Texas tower" platform lighthouse. In October 1996 the tower was heavily damaged by collision with the Greek oil tanker Aegeo. The second lighthouse, installed in 1999, operated for less than four years before being struck by the Maltese freighter Kouros V in January 2001. The light was then replaced by a large buoy painted with read and white horizontal bands (short white flash followed by a long white flash; also a whistle); Bjoern Kils has a photo (second photo on the page). Located about 7.5 mi (12 km) east of Sandy Hook Light. Accessible only by boat. Site open. ARLHS USA-009; ex-Admiralty
J1029; USCG 1-34785.
- **** Navesink
(2) Twin Lights: North Tower
- 1862 (Joseph Lederle, architect). Station established 1828. Reactivated
(inactive 1898-1962, now maintained by the state of New Jersey); focal
plane 246 ft (75 m); white light 5 s on, 5 s off. 6th order Fresnel
lens (1881) in use. 73 ft (22 m) octagonal cylindrical brownstone
tower with lantern and gallery, linked by an ornate, fortress-like
structure to the south tower. Trabas has a photo by C.W. Bash, and Google has a street view. The north tower is open during museum
hours (see next entry). Owner/operator: N.J.
Division of Parks and Forestry. Site manager: Twin
Lights State Historic Site. ARLHS USA-530; Admiralty J1032; USCG 1-35025.
- **** Navesink
(2) Twin Lights: South Tower
- 1862 (Joseph Lederle, architect). Station established 1828. Inactive
since 1953. 73 ft (22 m) square cylindrical brownstone tower with
lantern and gallery, linked by an ornate, 2-story fortress-like brownstone
keeper's quarters to the north tower. The station's rare 1st order bivalve Fresnel lens (1898), restored in 1999, is on display
in the brick electric generator building (1909). The former keeper's
quarters now house a museum. Oliver Lopena's photo is at right, Anderson's page has excellent photos
and historical information, the state parks agency has a virtual
tour, Marinas.com has aerial
photos, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, and Google has a street view and a satellite
view. The Twin Lights are not identical twins, since this tower is square and the north tower is octagonal. For a century Navesink Twin Lights was the landfall light for vessels
bound for New York, so it was one of the country's most important
lighthouses. It was also a showplace for the lighthouse service. This is the first U.S. light station to be equipped with
Fresnel lenses (1841), the first to burn kerosene (1883), and the
first to be equipped with electric power (1898). Today the Twin Lights Historical Society supports maintenance and operation of
the light station. In 2002, a $460,000 project restored the towers
and the exterior of the building. Located on Lighthouse Road off Highland
Avenue above NJ 36 in Highlands. Site open (free), museum open daily
in the summer and Wednesday through Sunday the rest of the year; north
tower open during museum hours, south tower open to guided tours.
Division of Parks and Forestry. Site manager: Twin
Lights State Historic Site. ARLHS USA-530.
Navesink Twin Lights, Highlands, July 2006
(South Tower in the foreground)
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Oliver J. Lopena
- ** Sea
- 1896. Reactivated (inactive 1955-1983, now privately maintained, uncharted, and unofficial). 44 ft (13.5 m) square cylindrical tower with lantern
and gallery at one corner of a 2-1/2 story Victorian red brick keeper's
house. Lantern painted black. A photo is at the top of this page, Anderson's page has excellent photos and
a historical account, Chris Piazza also has a good photo,
Huelse has a historic postcard
view, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial
view. This lighthouse is similar to the lighthouses at Round
Island, Michigan, and Two Harbors, Minnesota, which were built
about the same time. The light was moved to a skeletal tower in 1955, but we don't know when this tower was deactivated and removed. The lighthouse was sold to the Borough of Sea Girt in 1956 and housed the town library for many years. Restored through citizen efforts beginning in
1980, it is used today as a museum and community meeting facility. In 2002
the lighthouse museum spent $20,000 to purchase (on eBay) the 4th
order Fresnel lens of the Crowdy
Head Light in Australia. The lighthouse suffered only minor damage during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Located at Beacon Blvd. and Ocean Avenue,
one block east of NJ 49, in Sea Girt. Site open, lighthouse open
on Sunday afternoons April through November except for holiday weekends
(free, donations welcome); group tours and school tours can be arranged.
Owner/operator: Borough of Sea Girt.
Site manager: Sea
Girt Lighthouse Citizens Committee. ARLHS USA-744.
Ocean County Lighthouses
- **** Barnegat
(2) (Old Barney)
- 1859 (George G. Meade) (station established 1835). Reactivated (inactive
1944-2009); focal plane 163 ft (50 m); white flash every 10 s. 172
ft (52.5 m) brick tower with lantern and gallery. The Barnegat
Light Museum, located nearby in a former schoolhouse, displays the
original 1st order Fresnel
lens. The lower half of the tower and the lantern roof are painted white,
the upper half of the tower is bright red. The keeper's house was destroyed
in 1915. A photo is at right, Anderson has
a fine page for the lighthouse, Long Beach Island also has a page with the history of the light station and a streaming video tour, Trabas has a photo, Wikimedia has numerous photos, Huelse
has a historic postcard
view, Marinas.com has excellent aerial
photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite
view. This light, a sibling of Absecon Light, was the tallest
U.S. lighthouse when it was built, and it is still the third tallest brick
tower in the U.S., according to Lighthouse Heritage data. The Barnegat
Light Historical Society and Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse support maintenance and operation of the light
station. A major restoration was completed in 1991. The tower is threatened
by beach erosion; in 2001 the Army Corps of Engineers spent $1.38 million
for a rock seawall to protect it. However, a Corps survey showed the tower
is leaning 22 inches (56 cm) away from the vertical. In 2003 the state
spent $500,000 to repaint
and restore the tower. In September 2008, it was announced that the
lighthouse would be relit
on New Year's Day 2009. In 2011, town officials were negotiating to lease the light station from the state. In August 2012 a lightning strike knocked out the light, and several months of repairs were needed to restore it. Located at the end of Broadway, off Central Avenue
(extension of Long Beach Boulevard), on the north end of Long Beach Island.
Site open, lighthouse open daily year round. Owner/operator: N.J.
Division of Parks and Forestry. Site manager: Barnegat
Lighthouse State Park. ARLHS USA-039; Admiralty J1223; USCG 2-0958.
- *** Tucker's
Island (Tucker's Beach) (replica)
- 1999 (replica of 1868 lighthouse). A decorative light is displayed. 45 ft (14 m) square
cylindrical frame tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the
roof of a 2-story frame keeper's house. House painted white, lantern
black. Searle has an excellent photo,
a 2008 photo is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite
view. The original, located on Tucker Island on the north side
of Little Egg Inlet, was swept away by a storm in 1927. The replica,
dedicated May 13, 2000, is the interpretive center of the Tuckerton
Seaport maritime museum. The replica is somewhat larger than the
original, an expansion needed to meet modern building codes for
a public structure. A light was inaugurated in the tower on New Years Day 2014. Located on US 9 opposite Pohatcong Lake
in Tuckerton. Site and tower open. Owner/site manager: Tuckerton
Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island, September 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Bossi
Atlantic County Lighthouse
- **** Absecon
- 1857 (George G. Meade). Reactivated (inactive 1933-1997,
now privately maintained and unofficial; charted as a landmark); focal plane 167 ft (51
m). 169 ft (51.5 m) brick tower with lantern and gallery, original 1st
order Fresnel lens. Lighthouse and lantern painted white; tower
has a broad black band about 2/3 of the way up. Original 1-story
A photo is at right, Anderson's page has good photos
and the history of the station, Wikimedia has photos, Huelse has a historic postcard
photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial
view. Note: Absecon is pronounced ab-SEE-con. The lighthouse is a sibling of Barnegat Light and is
one of the first tall brick towers built by the U.S. Lighthouse
Board. Anderson describes how the daymark of the lighthouse has
changed many times; Rosalie Beasley has posted a 1959 photo showing
the tower painted white with a blue band. A major restoration of
the tower was completed in 1998 by Integrated Construction Enterprises
with funding from the New Jersey Historic Trust. The keeper's house was also reconstructed in 1998
but then destroyed
by a fire of suspicious origin; a second reconstruction
began in the fall of 2000 and the building finally opened in October
2001. The Inlet Public-Private Association supports maintenance
and operation of the light station. In 2014 the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority spent $518,000 to develop a park extending from the lighthouse toward the inlet. Located at Pacific Avenue and
Vermont Street in Atlantic City. Site and tower open daily in July
and August, Thursday through Monday the rest of the year. Owner: N.J.
Division of Parks and Forestry. Site manager: Inlet
Public-Private Association ARLHS USA-001; ex-Admiralty J1238.
Eastern Cape May County Lighthouses
- * #[Ludlum
- 1885. Inactive since 1923. Demolished in 2010, this was a 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house, formerly with
a square cylindrical light tower centered on the roof. The light tower had
been removed and the building had been relocated twice as a private residence,
arriving at its final location sometime in the 1940s. NJLHS has a page for the light station, the Coast Guard has a historic photo,
and Huelse has a historic postcard
view. In March 2006, the owner, Charles Adams, announced plans to
demolish the building and replace it with a modern 4-unit rental complex.
Bob Uhrmann, an assistant manager at the Cape May Lighthouse, organized
the Friends of Ludlum Beach Lighthouse; the society hoped to save the building
by relocating it a third time for use as a museum. Fundraising began,
and Adams promised to wait a reasonable time. In August 2009, his patience
exhausted, Adams announced plans to seek demolition permits from the city.
In December 2009 Sea Isle City Council rejected his development
plans, leaving the lighthouse in limbo for 2010. In August 2010, Adams announced
that the building would be demolished in late September. The outlook was
bleak, since preservationists had less than a third of the $50,000 needed
to move the structure. They failed to raise the needed funds, and the building was demolished on 21 September 2010. Formerly located at 3414 Landis Avenue, Sea Isle
City. Site open. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-461.
Absecon Light, Atlantic City, July 2011
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Bluesnote
- **** Hereford
- 1874 (Paul J. Pelz, architect). Reactivated (inactive 1964-1983);
focal plane 57 ft (17 m); white flash every 10 s. 57 ft (17 m) square
frame cylindical tower with lantern and gallery, emerging from a
1-1/2 story frame "Swiss gothic" keeper's house. Building painted
buff with white trim; lantern painted black. David Slack's photo is at right,
Anderson has an excellent page for
the lighthouse, Trabas has a photo, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial
view. The lighthouse is a sibling of Point Fermin Light in
Los Angeles, California; several similar lighthouses were built
in California but this is the only one in the eastern U.S. The
building is a museum, with the original 4th order Fresnel
lens as one of the exhibits. The lighthouse was relocated
150 ft (46 m) west in 1914. The light was moved to s skeletal tower in 1964. Boarded up for 18 years, the lighthouse
was restored by local efforts after being leased by the City of North Wildwood in 1982. The Friends of Hereford Inlet Lighthouse supports
restoration and operation of the station. The building
is now surrounded by extensive gardens. The tower was restored
in 1999. In 2001, the lighthouse received a state grant of $102,000
to replace the modern roof with a historically accurate cedar shake
roof and to restore the building's chimneys. In 2003 the lighthouse
was repainted in its historically-accurate buff color, somewhat
to the dismay of local residents accustomed to seeing it in white
with black trim. Anderson has before-and-after photos.
The restoration project won a state Historic
Preservation Award in 2005. In 2007, the interior of the building
was renovated. In 2015 a local contractor contributed his labor to repaint the lighthouse. Efforts are underway
to acquire and restore the adjoining former Coast Guard station.
Located on Central Avenue at First Avenue in North Wildwood. Site
and tower open daily mid May through mid October and Wednesday
through Sunday the rest of the year. Owner: N.J.
Division of Parks and Forestry (leased to City
of Wildwood). Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Friends of Hereford Inlet Lighthouse.
ARLHS USA-370; Admiralty J1244; USCG 2-0090.
Hereford Inlet Light, North Wildwood, May 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by David Slack
- *** Cape
- 1859 (station established 1823). Active; focal plane 165 ft (50 m); white
flash every 15 s. 157 ft (48 m) brick tower with lantern and gallery, solar-powered
aerobeacon (2002). Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery red. The original 1st
lens, removed in 1946, is exhibited at the Cape
May County Historical Museum. The 2-story Victorian wood keeper's
house houses a park ranger; the duplex assistant keeper's house burned
in 1948. The brick oil house (1893) serves as the station's visitor center. Allie Caulfield's photo is at right, Anderson's page has
the history of the station, Trabas has a photo, Wikimedia has photos, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, Marinas.com has aerial
photos, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial
view. The light station grounds were transferred to New Jersey as a state
park in 1964. The tower was leased to the state in 1986, and ownership was
transferred in 1992. The tower is leased to the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, which raised funds for a partial restoration and opened the lighthouse to the public in 1988. The International Chimney Corp. completed a major restoration
of the tower in 1994; at that time the lantern was repainted in its historic red color. In 2002 the Coast Guard replaced the DCB-36 aerobeacon (1946) with a solar-powered beacon. Located on Lighthouse
Avenue at Lehigh Avenue in Cape May Point. Site and tower open daily April
through November and on weekends in the winter (admission fee). Owner: N.J.
Division of Parks and Forestry (Cape
May Point State Park). Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Mid-Atlantic
Center for the Arts and Humanities. ARLHS USA-127; Admiralty J1256; USCG
Cape May Light, Cape May, August 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Allie Caulfield
Delaware Bay and River Lighthouses
- Western Cape May County Lighthouse
- 1914 (station established 1828). Active; focal plane 60 ft (18 m); white
flash every 10 s; red sector covers shoals off Cape May. 45 ft (14 m) cast
iron sparkplug style caisson lighthouse
with lantern and double gallery, incorporating 3-story round keeper's quarters.
Fog horn (2 s blast every 15 s). Lighthouse and caisson painted white with
red trim, lantern red. Protected against ice damage by rip rap. The original
3rd order Fresnel lens
is on display at Tucker
Island Light in Tuckerton. Part of the screwpile foundation of the previous
lighthouse, the nation's first screwpile lighthouse (1850), stands next
to the present tower. Diane Hamilton's photo is at the bottom of this page,
Bruce Mervine has a photo,
Trabas has a photo by Capt. Theo Hinrichs,
and an aerial
available. A sibling of the Miah Maull Shoal Light (see below), this lighthouse
is unusual among sparkplug towers in having an intact canopy over the lower
gallery. The concrete foundation was recently restored. The Coast Guard
repainted the light in 2000. In 2011, the light became available for transfer under NHLPA. In July 2012, Lower Township officials agreed to accept ownership under one of the proposals, but February 2013 the park service announced that the lighthouse would be transferred to Brandywine Shoal Lighthouse, a new non-profit started by the company that runs lighthouse cruises in the area. The owner, Capt. Jeff Stewart, estimates the cost of restoring the lighthouse from $1 million to $3 million. Located in lower Delaware Bay, about 10 mi (16 km) northwest of Cape
May. Accessible only by boat; lighthouse cruises from
Cape May visit the site. Site and tower closed. Owner/operator/site manager:
U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-076; Admiralty J1264; USCG 2-1555.
Cumberland County Lighthouses
- * East
Point (Maurice River)
- 1849. Reactivated (inactive 1941-1980); focal plane 43 ft (13 m);
white light, 3 s on, 3 s off; red sector covers nearby shoal. 40 ft
(12 m) octagonal cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery,
mounted on the roof of a 2-1/2 story brick keeper's house; 250 mm
lens. Light tower painted white, lantern black; building roofs are
red. A photo is at right, Anderson has an excellent page
for the lighthouse, Trabas has a good photo by Michael Boucher, Wikimedia has two photos, Marinas.com
has aerial photos,
and Google has a satellite
view. The interior was gutted by a fire in 1971. Local volunteers
have worked ever since to restore the light station. Exterior restoration
was completed in 1998. Two grants of $300,000 each supported restoration
of the interior of the building as a maritime museum. In 2014 there was increasing concern that rising sea level was threatening the lighthouse, now only 120 ft (36 m) from the bay. In August the Corps of Engineers announced it would spend $100,000 of Hurricane Sandy funding to study how best to save the lighthouse. In November, the state allocated $500,000 of the hurricane funding to this project. In 2015 the Corps of Engineers announced it would spend $1.9 million for beachfill and a protective berm to curb erosion. Located near
the end of East Point Road southwest of Heislerville. Site open, lighthouse
open by appointment, on the first Saturday of August, and on special
occasions. Owner: N.J.
Division of Parks and Forestry. Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Maurice River Historical
Society. ARLHS USA-262; Admiralty J1273.6; USCG 2-1695.
- 1913. Active; focal plane 59 ft (18 m); white light occulting every
4 s; large red sector covers shoals. 45 ft (14 m) cast iron sparkplug
style caisson lighthouse with lantern and double gallery, incorporating
3-story round cast iron keeper's quarters. Lighthouse painted bright red, lantern black with a white roof; caisson
is gray. Fog horn (1 s blast every 10 s). Diane Hamilton has a
and Trabas has Capt. Theo Hinrichs's photo. In 2011 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA, and when no organizations qualified to receive it was scheduled for auction in 2012. The auction was postponed when the Coast Guard announced plans to solarize the light. The auction sale finally began in July 2015, and in August the lighthouse was sold for $90,000. The buyer has not been identified. Located very nearly in the center of Delaware
Bay. Accessible only by boat; lighthouse cruises
from Cape May visit the site. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager:
U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-492; Admiralty J1268; USCG 2-1585.
East Point Light, Heislerville, March 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by cljo
- 1875 (station established 1855). Inactive since 1910. Only the hexagonal
granite pier remains of this lost lighthouse, which can be seen in
a postcard view posted
by Huelse. A 2007 photo is
available, and Bruce Mervine also has a photo. The remains of the long-abandoned
lighthouse were burned by the Coast Guard in 1962. There is no longer a light on the pier. Located about 1/2
mile (800 m) south southeast of Elbow of Cross Ledge Light. Accessible
only by boat. Site closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-931.
- Elbow of
Cross Ledge (2)
- 1954 (station established 1910). Active; focal plane 61 ft (18.5 m); white
light, 3 s on, 3 s off; red sector to east and northeast covers nearby shoals.
Approx. 45 ft (14 m) square skeletal tower mounted on a square workroom, built
on the round iron caisson of the 1910 lighthouse; enclosed glass lens formerly
used on a buoy. Fog horn (2 blasts every 20 s). Tower painted red, workroom
white, caisson black. A closeup 2007 photo is available, and the Coast Guard also has a photo of the current tower. The original lighthouse, an octagonal sparkplug tower, was destroyed by a collision with the ship Steel Apprentice in October 1953. Bob
Trapani has contributed historic photos of the former lighthouse and the aftermath of the disaster. Located in Delaware
Bay about 3 mi (5 km) northwest of Miah Maull Shoal. Accessible only by boat.
Site and tower closed. Owner/operator/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-270;
Admiralty J1270; USCG 2-1600.
John Shoal (2)
- 1877 (station established 1854). Active; focal plane 50 ft (15 m);
white flash every 5 s; red sector to east and north covers nearby
shoals. 45 ft (14 m) tower with lantern and upper and lower galleries,
mounted on an iron caisson, and incorporating a 2-story octagonal
Empire style keeper's house, protected by rip rap. Solar-powered lens
(1997); the original 4th order Fresnel lens is at the U.S. Coast Guard
Air Station in Atlantic City. Entire structure, including lantern
and caisson, painted red. Fog horn (2 s blast every 15 s). A fog bell
from the lighthouse is on display at the John
DuBois Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Automated NOAA weather station. Diane Hamilton's photo is
at right, Bruce Mervine has a photo,
a 2008 photo is available, and Marinas.com has aerial
photos. One of only two lighthouses of this unusual design
(the other is Southwest Ledge at New Haven, Connecticut). The
lighthouse was exhibited
at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. In 2011 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA, and when no organizations qualified the lighthouse was sold at auction for $60,200 late in 2012. The new owner is not known. Located about
3 mi (5 km) southwest of Cohansey Point and a similar distance southwest
of Sea Breeze. Accessible only by boat; lighthouse cruises
from Cape May visit the site. Site and tower closed. Operator:
U.S. Coast Guard. Owner/site manager:
private. ARLHS USA-758; Admiralty J1272; USCG 2-1640.
Ship John Shoal Light, Delaware Bay, July 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Diane Hamilton
- [Cohansey (4?)]
- Date unknown (station established 1838). Active; focal plane 42 ft (13 m); flash every 4 s, white or red depending on direction. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) square skeletal tower, painted black. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was heavily damaged by a storm in 1879. It was replaced in 1883 by a lantern atop a 1-1/2 story wood keepers house. It was deactivated and replaced by a skeletal tower in 1913 and then was destroyed by a "mysterious" fire on 21 July 1933. Lighthouse Explorer has a Coast Guard photo of the 1883 lighthouse, and NJLHS has a historic postcard view. Located on a sandy island off the mouth of Cohansey River, about 6 mi (10 km) south of Greenwich. Accessible only by boat. Owner/operator: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-1033; Admiralty J1293; USCG 2-1990.
Salem County Lighthouses
- ** Finns
Point Range Rear (Fort Mott)
- 1877. Inactive since 1950; charted as a landmark. 105 ft (32 m) hexagonal wrought iron skeletal
tower with central cylinder, lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse and lantern
painted black. Keeper's house destroyed; a frame oil house survives. Sibling
of Liston Range Rear DE. The tower was restored in 1983-84 as a result of
local preservation efforts. Wikimedia has a 2010 photo, Jim Tryon has a 2007 photo,
and Google has a street view and a satellite
view. For many years the tower was open on the third Sunday of each month,
April through October, but in 2006 staff cutbacks put an end to these openings.
In 2012 the Fish and Wildlife Service repainted and refurbished the lighthouse, and in March 2013 it was reopened for climbing. The Friends of Supawna Meadows organization seeks funds to maintain and restore the
lighthouse. Located on Lighthouse Road just off Fort Mott Road in Pennsville.
Site open; tower open for tours on the the third Sunday of each month, April through October. Owner: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Site manager: Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. ARLHS USA-285.
- Deepwater Range Rear (3?)
- Date unknown (station established 1876). Active; focal plane 89 ft (27 m); continuous light, green at night and white in the daytime, visible only on the range line. 89 ft (27 m) triangular cylindrical skeletal tower on a round platform supported by a heavy pile. Pile and platform painted yellow. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. The front light is a shorter tower on a similar platform. The original lighthouse was a hexagonal wrought iron skeletal tower, a sibling of the Finns Point lighthouse (previous entry). The replacement lights actually stand in Delaware waters, although the rear light is only about 400 ft (120 m) from the New Jersey shore. Located on the south side of the Delaware Memorial Bridge (I-295), near the New Jersey shore. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS USA-219; Admiralty J1308.1; USCG 2-2910.
Gloucester County Lighthouses
Range Front (2)
- About 1980 (station established 1880). Side-by-side square steel skeletal
towers built on the concrete foundation of the original
lighthouse, a square "pepperpot" wooden tower. Mifflin Range
Front: active; focal plane 48 ft (14.5 m); green light, 1 s on, 1 s off, day
and night, visible only along the range line. Tinicum Island Range Front:
active; focal plane 38 ft (11.5 m); red light, 1 s on, 1 s off, day and night,
visible only along the range line. Trabas has a photo, Anderson has a good photo, NJLHS has a small photo
(at the bottom of the page), and Google has an aerial
view. Located at Bramell Point in Billingsport, north of Paulsboro and
across the river from Philadelphia International Airport. Site and tower closed
(surrounding property owned by DuPont Corporation). Owner/site manager: U.S.
Coast Guard. Admiralty J1315.8; USCG 2-3285 (Tinicum Range Front) and 3370 (Mifflin Range Front).
- ** Tinicum
Island (Billingsport) Range Rear
- 1880. Active; focal plane 112 ft (34 m); continuous red light,
day and night, visible only along the range line. 86 ft (26 m) hexagonal
skeletal tower with central cylinder,
lantern and gallery; DCB-24 aerobeacon (1989) mounted on the gallery.
Entire lighthouse and lantern painted black. The keeper's house
and other light station buildings were demolished about 1940. Bash's photo is at right, Robert English has a good photo,
Trabas has Michael Boucher's photo, Hank Waxman also has a photo,
Huelse has a historic postcard
view, and Google has a satellite
view. Sibling of Finns Point and Liston (Delaware)
range lights. The Coast Guard repainted the lighthouse and made
repairs to the handrails in 2000. Located in a city recreation
area on Second Street at Beacon Avenue in Billingsport, north
of Paulsboro. Site open; tours of the tower are available on Sunday afternoons of the third full weekend of each month,
April through October. Owner/operator: U.S. Coast Guard (leased to Borough
of Paulsboro). Site manager: Tinicum
Rear Range Lighthouse Society. ARLHS USA-852; Admiralty
J1315.9; USCG 2-3290.
Range East Group Rear]
- 1881. Inactive. The light tower, a 41 ft square pyramidal frame
tower, was demolished long ago. The 1-1/2 story frame keeper's house
was relocated to a site adjacent to Cundey's Motel on US 130 in Westville,
but a recent visitor to the site reported that the house has been
demolished. ARLHS USA-381.
Camden County Lightship
- Lightship 79
(WAL 506) Barnegat
- 1904 (New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden NJ). Decommissioned 1967.
2-masted steel lightship, length 116 ft (35.3 m), beam 28.5 ft (8.7
m). The ship served almost all its career off New Jersey, first off
Cape May and then for four decades off Barnegat Inlet. The Coast Guard
has the ship's service
history, there is a historic
photo of the ship marked as the Five Fathom off Cape
May, and Google has an aerial
view. Endangered. The ship was exhibited at Penn Landing in Philadelphia during
the 1970s and 1980s. It is now at Pyne Poynt Marina in Camden, where
it is reported to be in poor condition, with emergency concrete and
plywood patches over holes in its hull. The ship was on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday
List until lightships were dropped from that list. The ship is owned by a group organized by Rod Sadler, the marina
owner, and calling itself the Camden Museum & Learning Center.
Site status unknown, but there should be a view of the ship from the
adjoining Pine Point Park, at the end of North 7th Street in Camden.
Site manager: Pyne Poynt Marine Services. ARLHS USA-040.
Tinicum Island Range Rear Light, Billingsport, July 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by C.W. Bash
Mercer County Lightship
53 (WAL 501) Stonehorse]
- 1892 (J. W. Wheelan Co., West Bay City MI). Decommissioned 1951. Only the
mast survives of this lost lightship. Adam Elmquist has a photo, the mast appears in a Wikipedia photo,
the Coast Guard has a page with the vessel's history,
Google has a street view, and Bing
has an aerial
The ship spent much of its early career
on the southeast coast, but it finished with 17 years of duty at the Stonehorse
Shoal station in Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts. The ship has been scrapped
but its mast and lantern were displayed for many years at Giovi's Restaurant
on US 130 in Yardville. Giovi's closed around 2005 and the lantern fell into
disrepair. In 2007, however, a new restaurant opened, and the new owners
restored the lantern and repainted the mast. Unfortunately, the restaurant
was not a big success and in late 2008 the property was once again for sale.
Eventually it was sold, and another restaurant has opened. Located at the intersection
of US 130 and NJ 156 in Yardville. Site open. Owner/site manager: Villa Romanza Restaurant.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
- Bergen Point
(1859-1949), at the junction of Newark Bay and Kill van Kull. The lighthouse was demolished when the waterways were widened in the area, and there is no longer a fixed light at the junction. ARLHS USA-052.
- Deepwater Range
Front (1876-1952), Delaware River at Deepwater. The lighthouse was demolished; the modern light is offshore in the Delaware River. See the entry for the rear range light above. ARLHS USA-218.
- Egg Island Point
(1838-1950), Delaware Bay. The light was moved to a skeletal tower in 1921. The deteriorating lighthouse survived until it was destroyed by fire on 20 August 1950. The light has been replaced by a buoy offshore. ARLHS USA-267.
- Finns Point Range Front (1877-1939), Delaware River near Pennsville. Foundation ruins were rediscovered in 2015; Lighthouse Digest has a March article. ARLHS USA-284.
- Fort Mifflin Range
Lights (1880-ca.1980), Delaware River at Billingsport; the current
Range Front Light is built on foundations of former Fort Mifflin
Range Front Light. Huelse has a historic postcard
view of the rear light. ARLHS USA-932 (front) and 293 (rear).
Range Lower Front and Upper
Front (1881-?), Delaware River below Gloucester. There are no longer any range lights in this area. ARLHS USA-383 (lower) and 382
- Maurice River Cove
Range Lights (1898-1958), Delaware Bay. This station consisted of two post lights with a keeper's house. The abandoned house burned on 27 April 1958. There is no longer a range for the river entrance. ARLHS USA-1034 (front) and
- Passaic (1859-1930s),
Newark Bay at the mouth of the Passaic River. This handsome lighthouse was demolished in the 1930s after being deactivated in 1914. ARLHS USA-933.
- Point Comfort
(1856-?), Sandy Hook Bay in Keansburg. The second lighthouse is the Conover Beacon, which was relocated to Leonardo (see above). There is no longer a light on the point. ARLHS USA-934.
Notable faux lighthouses:
- Brigantine (1926) has a very well known faux lighthouse at the foot of the bridge from Atlantic City; it is not an aid to navigation. A good photo is available, the Shanklins have photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The lighthouse was refurbished in 1995, and in 2013 local contractors contributed labor and materials for a restoration of the building.
- Curtin Marina (1978?), on the Delaware River at Burlington. This lighthouse appears to be active but it is not an official aid to navigation. The marina has a closeup photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial view.
- Lake Lenape (1939), Mays Landing. This 65 ft (20 m) wood tower was never an aid to navigation. Now owned by Atlantic County, the lighthouse is endangered by its age and poor maintenance; a group called Friends of the Lighthouse is raising funds for its preservation. Jason Pimble has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view.
Brandywine Shoal Light, Delaware Bay, June 2005
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Diane Hamilton
Adjoining pages: North: Downstate New York | South: Delaware | West: Southeastern
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Checked and revised June 1, 2015. Lighthouses: 24. Lightships:
3. Site copyright 2015 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill.