Tag: Historic Lighthouse

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse      111 North Central Avenue  North Wildwood, NJ 08260

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse 111 North Central Avenue North Wildwood, NJ 08260

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse

111 North Central Avenue

North Wildwood, NJ  08260

(609) 522-4520

http://www.herefordlighthouse.org

Open:

Mid May through October-Seven days a week: 9:00am-5:00pm

November through mid May: Thursday-Sunday: 10:00am-1:00pm

*Days and hours may change without notice during these off season months. Please call ahead to check on updates.

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46686-d532246-Reviews-Hereford_Inlet_Lighthouse-North_Wildwood_Cape_May_County_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I visited the Hereford Lighthouse Museum recently (See my review on TripAdvisor) and toured the building and grounds. It was three floors of vintage furnishings, artifacts from the nautical era and the items from a working lighthouse, past and present.

There was an interesting display of ship wrecks and their history, the role of lighthouses in New Jersey and their past and an interesting storyboard of the lighthouse keepers and the families that lived there at all stages of the history of the lighthouse.

The Hereford Victorian Lighthouse Museum and Gardens is a working lighthouse as well as a museum. Visitors will learn about the historic structure’s history and get a glimpse into the life of a lighthouse keeper in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (Hereford Lighthouse Museum).

Nestled into one of the most scenic settings in the State, the lighthouse overlooks the picturesque Hereford Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean. A park surrounding the building overflows with numerous flower gardens that have won many awards. Benches, a gazebo and a seawall observation deck allow visitors to linger and take in all the beauty (Hereford Lighthouse Museum).

There is a gift shop located on the first floor of the lighthouse.

History of the Lighthouse:

Historic and picturesque Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, a beacon of safety and assurance to the 19th century mariners, has become a cherished landmark for residents and visitors of this seashore resort community.

The Lighthouse is situated on the south side of the Hereford Inlet, which leads from the Atlantic Ocean to the famed Intra-Coastal Waterway linking Maine to Florida. First used by the 17th century whalers to haul in and butcher their catches, the Inlets use as a haven to mariners greatly increases as travel and shipping along the coast became more prevalent.

Strong currents and shifting sandbars near the entrance to the Inlet caused frequent groundings and shipwrecks. Because of this, in 1849, a Life Saving Station was constructed along the south bank of the Hereford Inlet. A second, larger station replaced this in 1871, the time of the creation of the United States Life Saving Service. As the use of the Inlet and coastal shipping continued to increase, so did the number of shipwrecks. It became obvious that a Lighthouse was needed to mark the mouth of the Inlet.

On June 10th, 1872, Congress enacted legislation to finance the purchase of land and the construction of a fourth order Lighthouse. The site chosen held a prominent position on the dune area overlooking the approach to the Inlet.

Construction bean on the uninhabited barrier island on November 8, 1873 and was completed on March 30, 1874. This wood frame residential style Lighthouse was designed by the Lighthouse Boards Chief Draftsman, Paul J. Pelz. His Victorian era design is referred to as Swiss Carpenter Gothic and also Stick Style.

Hereford is the only Lighthouse like it on the East Coast although it had five sister lights on the West. Pelz designed Point Fermin, East Brother, Mare Island and Point Hueneme in California and Point Adams in Washington State. All of these were almost identical to Hereford and were built about the same time. Only Point Fermin and East Brother still exist.

Paul Pelz would later garner world wide fame as the designer of the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

On May 11, 1874, a Notice to Mariners formally announced the start of operation of the Light. The fixed white light was located at latitude 39 degrees and longitude 74 degrees, 47 minutes. The tower height is 49 1/2 feet with the light elevation rising to 57 feet above sea level. The light is visible at a distance of 13 nautical miles.

John Marche was the first Lighthouse Keeper. He was in the post less than three months when he drowned when his boat capsized while returning to the mainland. He was replaced by a young man from Cape May Court House, Freeling Hysen Hewitt.

Freeling was a civil war veteran and a former merchant seaman. He would stay on as the keeper of the Light for the next 45 years. Freeling was considered a Pioneer of the island and among his many contributions, held the first formal religious services to occur in the Wildwood’s, in the Lighthouse parlor.

In 1888, a third larger Bibb#2 style Life Style Station was constructed three hundred feet Northwest of the Lighthouse. The Lighthouse Service and the Life Saving Service were both run by the Department of the Treasury but were separate organization. They were, however, both in the business of saving lives. The Lighthouse by warning and the Life Saving Service by rescue.

Hereford stood firm against the onslaught of the winds, rains and tides for 40 years at its original location. A severe storm in August of 1913 significantly damaged the foundation, requiring it to be moved westward 150 feet to where it sits today.

In 1915 the Coast Guard absorbed the duties of the U.S. Life Saving Service. A larger building was needed and in 1939 the modern Roosevelt Style Coast Guard Station was constructed. This Station also had a boathouse and a maintenance garage. These are the white buildings just north of the Lighthouse. 1939 was also the year that the Coast Guard took over control of the Lighthouse Service.

For the next 25 years the Hereford Lighthouse continue in operation. By the early 1960’s the Coast Guard began to automatize many of its many of its lighthouses. In 1964 this was the fate of Hereford when an automatic rotating modern optic was placed on an iron skeletal tower behind the Lighthouse. The Lighthouse was closed as was the Coast Guard Station next door. The entire property was transferred to the control of the New Jersey State Marine Police. The Police made use of the Coast Guard Buildings but the Lighthouse was boarded up and left to deteriorate for the next 18 years.

In 1982 through the long and painstaking efforts of Mayor Anthony Catanoso and his wife, Phyllis, a lease was signed Whereby the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection turns over the stewardship of the Lighthouse to the City of North Wildwood.

Restoration of the neglected building was immediately begun. After only ten months of intense work, on July 1, 1983, a portion of the restored building was opened to the public. Hundreds of public spirited citizens who helped raise funds for the restoration and contributed time, talent, energy and materials were on hand to celebrate the official reopening of the historic landmark for public use.

In 1986, the modern automated light was removed from the iron tower and placed in the Lighthouse lantern room making it a fully functional aid to navigation once again.

Efforts were then begun to also create a museum in the Lighthouse. The interior of the building was furnished with period antiques, educational displays and lighthouse memorabilia. The 4th order Fresnel Lens was also restored and placed on display on the 2nd floor of the Lighthouse.

A project to improve the sandy, barren grounds into a park was undertaken by Superintendent of Parks Steve Murray, who designed the Park along with its many garden areas.

Finally an authentic restoration of the entire Lighthouse was begun in 1998 and as with many old, historic structures is always a work in progress. Grants awarded by the New Jersey Historic Trust and the N.J. Department of Transportation have helped finance this work.

The Hereford Lighthouse is listed on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places. It is also part of the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail.

Keepers of The Hereford Inlet Lighthouse:

John Marche: 1874

John Nickerson: 1874

Freeling Hewitt: 1874-1919

William Hedges: 1919-1925

Laura Hedges: 1925-1926

Ferdinand Heizman: 1926-1939

Robert O’Neil: 1939-1942

George Baker: 1945-1955

Newman Bowden: 1955-1959

Bruce Bolon: 1960-1961

Disclaimer: This information was taken from the Hereford Lighthouse History website and I give the museum full credit for this information. Please call ahead before visiting in the off-season to see when the museum is open. It is a fascinating piece of New Jersey history.

 

 

 

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Lighthouse Park Roosevelt Island, 900 Main Street New York, NY 10044

Lighthouse Park Roosevelt Island, 900 Main Street New York, NY 10044

Lighthouse Park

Roosevelt Island

900 Main Street

New York, NY  10044

(212) 832-4540

Open 7:00am-9:00pm

The Roosevelt Island Lighthouse is a stone lighthouse built by New York City in 1872. It is at the northeast tip of Roosevelt Island in the East River in Lighthouse Park. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places on March 16th, 1972 and was designated a New York City Landmark on March 23rd, 1976. (Wiki)

Blackwell Island, which was called Welfare Island from 1921 to 1973 and is now known as Roosevelt Island was purchased by New York City in 1828. Various facilities on the island were built including a penitentiary, almshouse, city hospital, the New York Lunatic Asylum and the Smallpox Hospital (some of these buildings still exist).

In 1872, the City of New York built a lighthouse. The supervising architect was James Renwick Jr., who also designed several other buildings on the island for the Charities and Correction Board as well as more famous works such has St. Patrick’s Cathedral. (Wiki)

Legends abound about the construction of the lighthouse. Two names, John McCarthy and Thomas Maxey, are associated with the various legends. The 1870 report of the warden of the lunatic asylum that an industrious patient had build a seawall near the asylum that had reclaimed the land. The legends indicate that he had incorporated Civil War cannons. The legend indicates that the builder was bribed with bogus money to demolish the fort for the construction of the lighthouse. For many years, a saying was inscribed on a stone near the lighthouse:

This is the work

Was done by

John McCarthy

Who built the Light

House from the bottom to the

Top All ye who do pass by may

Pray for his soul when he dies.

The lighthouse was operated by the City instead of the U.S. Lighthouse Board. In its 1893 annual report, the Lighthouse Board generally praised the operations of Blackwell Island Lighthouse but indicated that the Board has unfairly criticized because of the City’s occasional failure to keep the light in operation. The Board advocated banning private lights. The 1917 U.S. Coast Pilot indicated that there was a private light at the north end of the island. (Wiki)

The light was operated until about 1940. In the 1970’s, the lighthouse was partially restored. The restoration was completed in 1998. (Wiki)

The lighthouse is approximately 50 feet (15m) tall. It is constructed of gray gneiss, rough ashlar that was quarried on the island by inmates from the penitentiary. It has an octagonal base and an octagonal shaft. There is an entrance on the south side under a projecting gable and a pointed Gothic arch. Two south-facing slit windows in the shaft light the interior. At the top of the shaft there is a band of ornamented corbels below the gallery, which is surrounded by an iron railing. The lantern is octagonal with a shallow conical roof. An 1893 photograph and a 1903 movie show that it probably had a much taller, steeper conical cap when it was built. The optics were provided by the U.S. Lighthouse Board. (Wiki)

Lighthouse Park is located on the northernmost section of Roosevelt Island and can be seen from Carl Schurz Park. On a beautiful sunny day, it is a very picturesque view from the park.

Disclaimer: this information was taken from Wikipedia site and the Roosevelt Island Historical Society. This little ‘gem’ of a park can be seen by walking to the most northern part of Roosevelt Island by way of the Main Street which runs through the island.

The Cape May Lighthouse 215 Light House Avenue Cape May Point, NJ 08212

The Cape May Lighthouse 215 Light House Avenue Cape May Point, NJ 08212

The Cape May Lighthouse

215 Light House Avenue

Cape May Point, NJ  08212

1-800-275-4278

http://www.capemaymac.org

https://www.capemaymac.org/cape-may-lighthouse

Open:  Tuesday-Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm/Monday 10:00am-4:00pm/Thursday-Friday Closed

Fee: $8.00 Adults/$5.00 Children 3-12/Military Free

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46341-d103993-Reviews-Cape_May_Lighthouse-Cape_May_Cape_May_County_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

This historic site has been restored and administered by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities in conjunction with N.J. Department of Environmental Protection Division of Parks & Forestry.

The Cape May Lighthouse: Climb the 199 steps of this 1859 vintage tower for a breathtaking view of the Jersey Cape, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Over the past 30 years, MAC has totally restored the Cape May Lighthouse. A fully accessible Visitors Center is located in the adjacent Oil House as well as a Museum Shop stocked with lighthouse and maritime must haves.

Lighthouse FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the Cape May Lighthouse

Questions about the structure:

*How Tall is the lighthouse? The lighthouse is 157 feet 6 inches tall from the ground line to the ventilator.

*How many steps are there to the top? There are 217 steps from the ground to the top with 199 steps in the tower’s cast iron spiral staircase.

* How old is the Lighthouse? The Cape May Lighthouse was built in 1859 and is the third fully documented lighthouse to be built at Cape May Point. The first was built in 1823; the second in 1847. The exact locations of the first two lighthouses are now underwater due to erosion.

*How thick are the brick walls? The Lighthouse actually has two separate walls. The outside wall is cone-shaped and is 3 feet 10 inches thick at the bottom and 1 foot 6 inches thick at the top. The inside wall is a cylinder with 8.5 inch thick walls which support the spiral staircase. The walls were designed to withstand winds several times above hurricane force.

*Is the beacon still working? Yes, The Coast Guard continues to operate the light as an active aid to navigation. The light is visible 22 miles out to sea and flashes every 15 seconds. A lighthouse’s flash pattern is called its ‘characteristic’, every lighthouse has its own light characteristic and exterior paint scheme (called a daymark) so that ship captains can tell them apart.

*What were the two small rooms on either side of the entrance hallway used for? They were storage rooms that held tools, implements and fuel for the lantern before the Oil House was built. The keeper also used one as a small office.

*Who owns the Lighthouse?  The State of New Jersey owns the Lighthouse but the Coast Guard maintains the beacon apparatus. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) in Cape May leases the Lighthouse from the State with the mission of restoring the structure and operating it as a historic site.

*Questions about Lighthouse Keepers and their responsibilities

*Who worked at the Lighthouse?  The Lighthouse was staffed by keepers who worked for the U.S. Lighthouse Service. Cape May’s lighthouse generally had one head keeper and two assistants. They carried the oil to the top of the tower every day to power the light and kept the lens apparatus clean and in working order. Keepers’ pay averaged $600.00 a year around the turn of the 20th century.

*Where did the keepers live?  There were two houses built right next to the Lighthouse around 1860 for the keepers and their families. One has since burned but the other is still standing on the other side of the fence near the entrance to the tower.

Important Dates: Cape May Lighthouse

1853-First recorded lighthouse constructed. The 1823 tower was 68 feet tall and its location is now underwater due to erosion.

1847-The second lighthouse was built. It was a 78 foot tower located directly in front of the present tower, just beyond the present shoreline. It was replaced by the present lighthouse because it was poorly constructed.

1857-The Army Corps of Engineers began construction on the present tower, which cost $40,000 to build. The first order Fresnel lens, which is now in the Cape May County Museum, cost about $15,000.

1859-The Lighthouse was first lighted on October 31. The next year, two lighthouse keepers dwellings were built. The one remaining is now used by the State Park Service.

1893-The oil house was constructed.

1902-One of the keepers’ dwellings was enlarge to provide more space for housing the keepers’ families. Three keepers and their families. Three keepers and their families lived at the lighthouse site.

1902-An incandescent oil vapor lamp was installed and replaced the Funck multiple wick first order hydraulic float lamp that dated back to 1878.

1933-The light apparatus was electrified.

1936-The light apparatus was automated which eliminated the need for lighthouse keepers being permanently stationed at the tower.

1939-The United States Lighthouse Service was discontinued and its equipment and personnel transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard.

1941-The Lighthouse was darkened until 1945 because of the World War II. The Atlantic coast was on black-out due to the presence of enemy submarines.

1946-A DCB-36 rotating light (like an airport beacon) was installed. The original first order Fresnel lens was placed in the Cape May County Museum.

1986-The Lighthouse was leased to MAC by the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, who in turn leased the structure from the Coast Guard.

1988-MAC undertook public safety improvements that allowed the public to climb to the top.

1989-A grant from the Bicentennial Lighthouse Fund underwrote the restoration of the Lighthouse’s windows and doors.

1990-The oil house was restored and adapted for use as orientation center and museum shop, with funding from the Bicentennial Lighthouse Fund and the New Jersey Historic Trust.

1992-The ownership of the Lighthouse was transferred from the Coast Guard to the State of New Jersey.

1994-Grants from the New Jersey Historic Trust and the federal ISTEA program administered by the State DOT funded painting of the tower and restoration of the lantern and roof.

1998-Grants from the same agencies funded all remaining restoration of the lighthouse structure.

2000-2001-A grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust funded the grounds restoration project.

2002-The Coast Guard installed a modern light known as a DCB-224. It uses parabolic mirrors to focus the beams rather than lenses.

2010-The Friends of the Cape May Lighthouse group was formed. You are cordially invited to join. Call 609-884-5404 or visit http://www.capemaymac.org.

2016-The Coast Guard installed a new, state of the art beacon known as VRB-25 (Variable Rotating Beacon) replacing the DCB-224 that had suffered irreparable damage due to a lighthouse strike.

2017-Lighthouse Tower was repainted with grants from the Cape May County Open Space Board, the National Maritime Heritage Grant program of the National Park Service and South Jersey Industries, augmented by the fundraising efforts of the Lighthouse Keepers and the Friends of the Lighthouse.

*Is the Lighthouse haunted? Exit Zero Ghost Writer and psychic medium Craig McManus has visited the Lighthouse and detected the ghosts of several former keepers and their families. Perhaps you may encounter them yourself on a Ghosts of the Lighthouse Trolley Tour!

Questions about Lighthouse Restoration

*Why is the Lighthouse leased to the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC)?

In the 1980’s , the Coast Guard began a nationwide program of leasing lighthouses to private organizations, like MAC, which are capable of preserving them. In 1986, the Coast Guard leased the Lighthouse to MAC, which assumed the responsibility for its restoration, maintenance and operation as a lighthouse museum. In 1992, ownership of the Lighthouse was transferred from the Coast Guard to the State of New Jersey in order to make the restoration project eligible for state historic preservation funding. The state monitors the historical authenticity of the restoration and also makes available to Lighthouse visitors the parking and restroom facilities of the adjacent state park.

*What is MAC?

MAC is a non-profit organization with nearly 4,000 members that was founded in 1970 to save and restore Cape May’s Physick Estate and operate it as a historic house museum. The Physick Estate is also home to the Carroll Gallery with an array of changing exhibitions, a museum shop and the Carriage House Café & Tearoom. MAC has also restored the World War II Lookout Tower (Fire Control Tower Number 23) located nearby on Sunset Boulevard. In addition, MAC promotes Cape May’s Victorian heritage through a year round schedule of special events and trolley, walking and historic house tours. MAC is also one of the area’s leading sponsors of the performing arts with its Cape May Music Festival every May and June. Please call 609-884-5404 for details on MAC’s calendar of events or visit our website at http://www.capemaymac.org.

*How much did it cost to restore the Lighthouse?

Since 1987, closed to two million dollars has been spent to restore the Lighthouse and oil house and allow the public to climb safely to the top.

*Is the Lighthouse open to the public?

Yes, Hours of operation vary throughout the year. The tower is open daily, April through November and on weekends most of the rest of the year. The grounds ground floor, tower and watch room gallery are open to the public. All tours of the tower are self-guided.

Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities

P.O. Box 340

1048 Washington Street

Cape May, NJ  08204

(609) 884-5404

http://www.capemaymac.org

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from a pamphlet from the MAC Cape May Lighthouse Museum. Please call the above number or email address for more information on the site. It is well worth seeing just for the view alone.