Tag: Historic Lighthouses

East Point Lighthouse                                            10 Lighthouse Road                               Heislerville, NJ 08324

East Point Lighthouse 10 Lighthouse Road Heislerville, NJ 08324

East Point Lighthouse

11 Lighthouse Road

Heislerville, NJ 08324

(856) 785-0349

http://eastpointlight.com/

https://www.facebook.com/eastpointlight/

Open: Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Monday-Friday Closed/Saturday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Please check the website for seasonal dates

Admission: $8.00

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46502-d12629019-Reviews-East_Point_Lighthouse-Heislerville_New_Jersey.html

I visited the East Point Lighthouse on a glorious sunny day when there was no wind in the forcast and it made for an excellent visit to this lighthouse right by the sea. I noticed that on almost all sides, there were man-made barriers to protect the lighthouse grounds from erosion.

The grounds were a combination of dunes with beach grass, rocks and tiger lillys all over the property to give it a colorful look. There were misty breezes from the water that felt so good as it got hotter that day. The property is pretty contained and there is parking all around the building but the lots are small.

I bought my tickets in the gift shop ($8.00), was able to look around at the well-stocked shop with its nautical books and tee-shirts and hats with the lighthouse logo on it. You are also able to go to the bathroom.

The tour of the lighthouse is a self guided tour and you are able to climb the stairs and visit each room of the lighthouse as if the lighthouse keeper and his family still lived there. When I was talking with one of the volunteers that morning on the first floor, he told me as they were renovating the lighthouse after the fire and completing it, they put the word out to the community for donations to furnish the lighthouse with items that may have come from the period that the lighthouse was in operations. The donations poured in with family hierlooms that filled each room up.

On the first floor is the kitchen with its time period ice box and coal stove which shows what life was life for a housewife before WWII. I am sure that electricity was tough getting to ligthouse especially during storms. You had washboards and basins for wash day and all the equipment to clean the house.

The lighthouse office of the lighthouse keeper was equiped with all things that are needed to keep the place running from maps to communication equipment to a fully stocked desk. There were no days off in this job. There was even a picture of Clara Noon, who as a little girl was the last child to live in the ligthouse. She visited again as a senior in the early 1990’s.

The upstairs had a fully furnished adults bedroom with period clothes of the early 1900’s to WWII and the furnishings were of various periods of living in the lighthouse. The children’s bedroom was really elaborate with rope beds, children’s furniture, lots of toys from the 1890’s to the 1930’s and a great doll collection. There was even a handmade dollhouse complete with elaborate furniture that was handmade by a local resident. It was very impressive.

There were also all sorts of maps and rare books to look at and a complete radio room and then the last set of stairs took you up to the light were you could see the views of the ocean. In fact the views from all the floors was pretty impressive.

It is an amazing self-guided tour that gives you a glimpse into the life of the families that lived here. It may not have been this elaborate as all the items inside the lighthouse but it gives you a clue on what life must have been like by using your imagination.

What was interesting is that the ligthouse opened in 1849 and then became fully automated in 1911 so its use of a lighthouse keeper was pretty much over before WWI. Still over a period of time you can see how the job changed with automation and advancement of technology.

I took time to walk the grounds. The landscaping and the beach dunes gave it a very attractive backdrop.

A wonderful video on the ligthouse tour from YouTube

The History of the East Point Lighthouse:

(From the Cumberland County Historical Division/NJ Lighthouse.com/East Point Tourism Pamphlet):

The East Point Lighthouse is an active lighthouse that was built in 1849, situated on the southern bayshore in Cumberland County, NJ. The ligthhouse originally had a lighthouse keeper to maintain the lights. In exchange for doing this work, they were allowed to live here rent free and were paid the sum of $1.00 per year for their services. It was fully automated by 1911.

The lighthouse was blacked out in WWII and then after the war, the Coast Guard decided the lighthouse was not longer necessary and decommissioned it in 1941. Over the years it deteriorated quickly over time.

In 1955, the Federal Government decided to sell the lighthouse and the propery as surplus and it was purchased by a Long Island construction company but before the sale was consummated it was found that proper disposal procedures were not followed in that the lighthouse was not first offered to the State of New Jersey. The state was interested in the property not because of the lighthouse but because the site was surrounded by the Heisersville Wildlife Refuge and would provide a place for boats to be launched.

Local residents became concerned with the condition of the lighthouse and in February of 1971, the Maurice River Historical Society was founded with the goal of restoring the lighthouse. In July of 1971 before negotiations were complete, the lighthouse was set on fire. Through a series of grants over the years and a lot of dedication from the volunteers, the lighthouse has been reconstructed.

This fully restored and furnished lighthouse with its beacon on each night serves as both an active navigational aid serviced by the United States Coast Guard as well as a year round museum, thanks to the work of the Maurice River Historical Society that manages this historical site.

East Point Lighthouse logo

Through the work of the non-profit historical society that over saw the full restoration, fully furnished, maintains and manages the lighthouse, it’s open to the public to climb/tour and for specials events year round. Both the lighthouse and grounds surrounding the lighthouse are on the National Historic Registry. East Point is the second oldest lighthouse in New Jersey (behind the Sandy Hook Lighthouse) and the only remaining New Jersey land based lighthouse on the Delaware Bay.

The two story Cape Cod style lighthouse with its distinctive red roof by day and blinking red beacon by night, marks the mouth of the Maurice River on the Delaware Bay. East Point is known for its rich maritime history, spectacular views, wide variety of wildlife and beautiful sunsets, making it a popular destination for tourist, artists, photographers, wildlife and history enthusiasts alike.

Saugerties Lighthouse                                         168 Lighthouse Drive                               Saugerties, NY 12477

Saugerties Lighthouse 168 Lighthouse Drive Saugerties, NY 12477

Saugerties Lighthouse

168 Lighthouse Drive

Saugerties, NY 12477

(845) 247-0656

https://www.facebook.com/SaugertiesLighthouse/

Open: Please check the website for hours/Seasonal

Admission: Free for the Grounds/Check the website for the B & B availability

https://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=678

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48564-d4214114-Reviews-Lighthouse-Saugerties_Catskill_Region_New_York.html

I was recently travelling through Saugerties, New York recently and saw the small sign for the historical Saugerties Lighthouse and decided to take the road path down to the river. This interesting little site is hidden behind a wetlands area and neighborhood of homes and a Coast Guard station.

Saugerties Lighthouse

The Historical Saugerties Lighthouse in Saugerties, NY

I walked through the wetlands park through a pathway of bridges and paths and suggest by the walk do not go after it has just rained. Also do not go after dark as the path is not lite. Still it is fascinating walk through the wetlands passing streams and patches of beautiful flowers and trees. Take your time to admire the flowers and plants along the paths and look at the views of the river as you exit the paths.

The lighthouse itself needs some work but it is elegant old building that sits stately against the mountain views. In the middle of the summer, all the colors are bright and vibrant. You can walk around most of the building but the walkway in the front offers a nice view of the whole structure.

The only way to go inside is to book a room at the B & B so check the website out.

The History of the Saugerties Lighthouse:

(From the Friends of the Saugerties Lighthouse)

The lighthouse was practically a pile of crumbling bricks poised to tumble into the Hudson River, the Saugerties Lighthouse barely escaped the demolition ball in the 1960’s. Today, completely renovated and delighting B & B guests, it stands as a testament to the perseverance and hard work of many dedicated individuals.

The name Saugerties is derived from the Dutch “Zager’s Killetje”, meaning a sawmill on a creek and in fact, there was a mill built on Esopus Creek to harness the creek’s waterpower. The mill formed the cornerstone of a thriving paper industry, which produced as much as eight tons of paper daily, making it one of the leading producers of paper in the 1800’s.

On June 30, 1834, Congress appropriated $5000 for the construction of a lighthouse at the mouth of the creek to guide mariners past the nearby shallows and into Esopus Creek and the busy port of Saugerties. Charles Hooster built the lighthouse on a forty by fifty foot timber-framed pier and its light, produced by five whale oil lamps set in parabolic reflectors, commenced operation in 1835 with Abraham Persons as its first keeper.

A fire in 1848 destroyed the original lighthouse but it was rebuilt on the old site by 1850 at which time four lamps were being displayed from atop the two-story structure. Light lists described the second lighthouse as a “light on keeper’s house.” A sixth-order Fresnel lens replaced the array of lamps and reflectors in the lantern room in 1854.

Ice floes and tidal currents took their toll on the foundation pier and on March 2, 1867, Congress appropriated $25,000 to build a replacement lighthouse just a few yards closer to the shore. This structure, still standing today, was built on a circular granite crib, with a depth of twelve foot and a diameter of sixty feet that rests on fifty-six pilings sunk into the riverbed and topped with three layers of six-inch timbers. The two story lighthouse has twenty-inch thick natural colored brick cavity walls and a sixth-order Fresnel lens cast its beacon from the lantern room. No longer needed, the old wooden lighthouse was sold.

Saugerties Lighthouse was considered a plum assignment due to its proximity to town. In 1888, Saugtegies Harbor was enlarged through the construction of jetties and the keeper’s jaunt to town was made easier when a small road was built along the north jetty to the lighthouse.

The lightkeepers were friendly with their neighbors and even enlisted their help. A neighbor downriver would hand a bed sheet out their window whenever they saw the lighthouse tender coming upriver, giving the lightkeeper about a half-hour notice before the inspector arrived.

Daniel Crowley was serving as keeper of the light when the current brick lighthouse was built. He had been placed in charge of the light in 1865, replacing his father Dennis, who was removed from service after just three months. Daniel’s sister, Katie, grew up at the lighthouse and seemed to be amphibious. She would often venture out into the river along in a skiff and when her little craft was upset, there were no worries as she could swim like a duck. Katie was made the official keeper of the light in 1873 and her lack of fear of the water lead to some remarkable rescues.

Around the turn of the century, the boathouse, located atop the foundation of the first lighthouse, a small island east of the current lighthouse was moved to the circular lighthouse pier. In 1910, a wooden platform was extended from the top of the tower to support a fog bell and an enclosed shaft was mounted below the platform to protect the suspended weights that powered the bell striking mechanism.

Conrad Hawk’s twenty-six year stint as keeper, lasting from 1914 to 1940 was far longer than that of any other keeper of Saugerties Lighthouse. In 1916, his son Earl and daughter Ilal were playing with a small battery and brought it into contact with the large battery used for the station’s fog bell. The resulting short-circuit caused an explosion that blew the battery to pieces, cutting Ilal’s face and produced a current that burned Earl’s arms. Earl nearly lost a big toe in 1922 when his foot came into contact with a boat’s propeller as he tried to climb aboard while swimming near the lighthouse.

Through they both had a few scars, Earl and Ilah survived at Saugerties Lighthouse. Earl Hawk graduated from the Navy’s school at Annapolis and entered the submarine service, while Ilal attended Cortland State teacher’s College and became a physical education instructor. Just before Christmas in 1939, Keeper Hawk’s went to the hospital to receive treatment for stomach ulcers but the treatments failed and he passed away on January 8th, 1940.

When electricity was extended to the lighthouse in the 1940’s, the dwelling was “modernized” with steam heat, plumbing and a telephone. In February 1954, Keeper Ed Pastorini was informed his light would be automated come spring. Wanting to leave the station in tip-top shape, he lovingly painted the three large upstairs bedrooms. Tears flooded his eyes when he closed the door and left the lighthouse for the last time.

Saugerties Lighthouse

The Historic Saugerties Lighthouse in all its beauty

The lighthouse tender soon arrived and its crew tore out the plumbing, furnace and fixtures. In stark contrast to Keeper Pastorini’s care, gallons of water were drained out on the floors and left to soak through the floorboards. The building was sealed up and left to deteriorate which it did quickly.

A decade later, the Coast Guard planned to demolish the vandalized and dilapidated lighthouse, when it stepped Ruth Reynolds Glunt, wife of Chester B. Glunt, a former Coast Guard light attendant stationed at Turkey Point near Saugerties. Mrs. Glunt a longtime friend of many lighthouse keepers along the Hudson River, carried a passion for saving lighthouse and mounted a campaign to halt the demolition. Through her efforts and those of architect Elise Barry, the structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

The Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy was established in 1985 with the mission to restore and maintain the lighthouse and the following year the conservancy was able to purchase the lighthouse and surrounding wetlands for $1.00. The conservancy received a building on the verge of tumbling down but managed in just a few years to turn it into a beautifully restored lighthouse.

Roughly 10,000 old bricks, which had crumbling after being penetrated by moisture, were replaced. The lantern room was removed and refurbished. Stairs, handrails, floors and walls were completely reconstructed. To top of the transformation, a solar powered light installed in the lantern room by the Coast Guard was activated on August 4th, 1990.

Saugerties Lighthouse furnished in 1920’s decor is now open to the public and welcomes overnight guests as a bed and breakfast. Visitors can walk to the lighthouse along a one half mile long through the Ruth Reynolds Glunt Nature Preserve, where they will be greeted by a modern day resident keeper who runs the bed and breakfast and maintains the lighthouse.

Saugerties Lighthouse

A big thank you to the Friends of the Saugerties Lighthouse for their dedication in this important site

*This is just a portion of the blog from the Friends of Saugerties Lighthouse. Please see the attached website for more information.

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park                                           208 Broadway                                             Barnegat, NJ 08006

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park 208 Broadway Barnegat, NJ 08006

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

208 Broadway

Barnegat, NJ 08006

(609) 494-2016

https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/barnlig.html

Open: Sunday-Saturday 8:00am-8:00pm

Fee: Free off season/ Check Website

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46285-d286497-Reviews-Barnegat_Lighthouse_State_Park-Barnegat_Light_Long_Beach_Island_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I was able to visit the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park on a recent trip to Long Beach and what a beautiful park with wonderful views of the inlet and of the Atlantic Ocean.

In 2020, the lighthouse is closed because of COVID so I will have to wait in the future to climb the stairs which is noted for people who like to explore lighthouses but still you are able to admire the building from the outside.

The Bar

The Barnegat Lighthouse on the inlet side

There is a walking path through the bush areas of dunes. You need to keep yourself socially distanced at this time as you admire the trees and what is left at this point of the season of flowering plants. It was interesting to read how these species survive the ocean and salt air. It is amazing how these plants can survive the storms and how they keep the beach from eroding.

The Maritime Forest Trail is a 1/5 mile long, self-guided loop through one of the last remnants of maritime forest in New Jersey. The forest, which is dominated by black cherry, sassafras, eastern red cedar and American Holly, which is an important resting and feeding area for migratory birds on their long journey to and from their breeding areas (Park Literature).

It is also the home for migrating birds. There were all sorts of ducks swimming around and there a a bird that looked like a crane who looked like it was getting vain from all the pictures that people were taking of it.

The park has a 1033 foot concrete walkway that the fisherman use and people were sitting along the benches watching people fish and boaters come and go from the inlet. The walkway was a nice place to see the waves crash along the sides of the park.

I just saw a lot of dumb people walking along the wet rocks with waves crashing by which is not smart. Still you got great views of Seaside Park and the Atlantic Ocean from this part of the park. It is fun watching the fisherman casting lines, sharing stories and the fishing boats in the distance go out to sea close to the beach.

On a nice day take the time to walk through the nature trails and the dunes that face the ocean. It is a small but interesting trail with all sorts of native plants and a very nice description that the park gives you about each and their place at the shore. Each has a place with the wild life and the migration patterns for birds on their way to their next home. It shows what an important place that New Jersey serves for wildlife.

I revisited the park in November of 2021 and on a very windy day, the lighthouse was open and I finally made my way to the top. It was quite a hike up those narrow stairs on a extremely windy day but I made it to the top in about fifteen minutes. Along the way, there was small landings with sweeping views of the ocean.

Once to the top, there was a landing that surrounded the top of the lighthouse with views of the park and lagoon areas and the surrounding tip of the island. The strong winds prevented me from staying there too long plus there was not much space to move around and you felt like you were caged in but the views were spectacular. I made it down in ten minutes since there were only six other people there.

It was nice of them to finally open the lighthouse.

The History of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park:

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, located on the northern tip of Long Beach Island along the New Jersey Atlantic coastline, is one of New Jersey’s most recognized landmarks and a veteran of service to seafarers for 68 years. The park is easily accessible from the Garden State Parkway by taking exit 63 and following Route 72 east to Long Beach Boulevard northbound.

Park visitors can picnic, sunbathe, fish, bird watch, climb the historic lighthouse (post COVID), walk the Interpretive Center (post COVID) and enjoy the seashore. Swimming, however is not permitted. Barnegat Lighthouse is included as a maritime site on the New Jersey Heritage Trail Route (Barnegat Lighthouse State Park Pamphlet).

The beauty of the park in the later afternoon

Barnegat Lighthouse stands on the south side of Barnegat Inlet, The inlet was named “Barendegat” or “Breakers Inlet” by early Dutch explorers because of the large cresting waves that made navigation difficult. The site of the lighthouse was considered on of the most important “change of course” points along the eastern seacoast for vessels sailing to New York from Europe. Sailors depended on Barnegat Lighthouse as a navigational aide to assist them in reaching their posts and to avoid the dangerous shoals that extended from the shore.

In 1834, the U.S. Congress appropriated $6,000 to establish a lighthouse as Barnegat Inlet. The lighthouse was completed and placed into service in July of 1835. At only 40 feet tall with a non-blinking light, the first lighthouse at Barnegat Inlet was a miserable failure doing little to reduce the number of shipwrecks. In 1856, guided by recommendations from then Lieutenant George G. Meade of the U.S. Army Bureau of Topographical Engineers, Congress appropriated another $60,000 to construct a “first class light” at Barnegat Inlet.

Lieutenant Meade drew up the plans and Lieutenant W.S. Raynolds supervised the construction of the new lighthouse. On the night of January 1, 1859, the majestic new Barnegat Lighthouse was lit for the first time. Its first order Fresnel lens, at 175 feet above sea level was so powerful that it could be seen for 19 nautical miles.

The lens was made in 1856 by Henri Le Paute of Paris, France from glass produced at the famous furnace at St. Gobian. The beehive-shaped Fresnel lens is six feet in diameter, ten feet high and is formed from over 1,000 separate glass prisms and twenty four bull’s eye lenses mounted in a brass frame. It weighs nearly five tons. Today the lens is on display in the Barnegat Light Historical Museum on Central Avenue and 5th Street in Barnegat Light, New Jersey. For hours of operation, please call the museum at (609) 494-8578.

Turned by a clockwork mechanism, the lens rotated once every four minutes. The speed of the rotation and the 24 individual beams of light from the 24 bull’s eye lens gave Barnegat Lighthouse it’s characteristic” of one flash every ten seconds.

At the turn of the century, due to the encroaching sea and seemingly inevitable collapse, the Lighthouse Board considered abandoning Barnegat Lighthouse and replacing it with a lightship anchored off the coast. The popularity of the lighthouse as a landmark caused the Lighthouse Board to reconsider their plan and to erect temporary measures to hold back the sea. Later, local residents raised two thousand dollars to construct permanent jetties to protect the lighthouse.

In 1926, Barnegat Lighthouse and surrounding property were transferred from the Federal government to the State of New Jersey… to maintain this reservation for historical purposes and for the preservation of the lighthouse tower. The lighthouse was decommissioned and replaced by the Barnegat Lightship in 1927. Barnegat Lighthouse State Park opened to the public in 1957.

A bust of General George G. Meade was unveiled at the dedication ceremony in honor of his distinguished service during the Civil War as the Commanding General of Federal troops at the Battle of Gettysburg and for his role at Barnegat Lighthouse.

The bust of General George G. Meade in front of the lighthouse entrance

Today, the beloved Barnegat Lighthouse is shining again thanks to the Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park who purchased a new lens that casts a single beam visible up to 22 nautical miles. The new light was illuminated at a ceremony on January 1, 2009 exactly 150 years to the day that it was originally lit in 1859 with over 1200 people witnessing the lighthouse becoming an official aid to navigation once again.

The lighthouse and the park in its glory

(This information comes from a combination of the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park pamphlet and website/Wiki-I give them full credit for the information provided).

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

Hereford Lighthouse Museum

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.