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New Jersey's tallest lighthouse awaits you at Pacific and Rhode Island Avenues in Atlantic City.Take an amazing journey into time and above it all as you ascend the 228 steps of the Absecon Lighthouse, one of the oldest lighthouses in the country. You'll see breathtaking views of the Atlantic City skyline and up top you'll come face-to-face with the original first-order Fresnel Lens, first lit in 1857.
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 increased as travel and shipping along the coast became more prevalent.
Sandy Hook Unit lies within the Fort Hancock and Sandy Hook Proving Ground National Historic Landmark. It is home to several batteries and historic Army buildings, the oldest surviving lighthouse in the U.S., a former United States Life-Saving Service station building which bears witness to the maritime history of this peninsula. Since 1895, Fort Hancock was one of the places vital to American defense up to the nuclear age. You can read dozens of stories by the people who served here
Sea Girt Lighthouse, at Ocean Avenue and Beacon Boulevard in Sea Girt, New Jersey, flashed its first light December 10, 1896. The beacon, which could be seen 15 miles at sea, guided countless mariners in their journeys and contributed to the state’s economic growth and helped make sailing through local waters safer.
The lighthouse was built to illuminate a blind spot midway in the 38½-mile stretch between Navesink Lighthouse (Twin Lights) to the north and Barnegat Lighthouse to the south. It also served as a landmark for nearby Sea Girt Inlet and Wreck Pond.
By the early 1900s, there were some 40 light stations – lighthouses, lightships and range lights – along New Jersey’s 130-mile coastline.
Sometime around 1800, the ocean cut an inlet between Holgate and Tucker’s Beach, and Tucker’s Beach was now also Tucker’s Island. A lighthouse was added to the island in 1848 to guide traffic into Little Egg Harbor, located west of the barrier island. A brick tower, known both as Little Egg Harbor Lighthouse and Tucker’s Beach Lighthouse, displayed a fixed red light using an array of fifteen lamps set in fifteen-inch reflectors, and a one-and-a-half-story dwelling was built nearby for the keeper.
Prior to the 1820s, the only permanent lighthouse in this area was the Sandy Hook Light, which became operational in 1764. It was the only lighthouse serving the entrance to New York Harbor. In 1823, Sandy Hook was supplemented by the Sandy Hook Lightship, stationed in Sandy Hook Channel about three miles offshore. The United States learned some hard lessons about the need to protect its shipping during the War of 1812. It was the lifeblood of the new nation, and nowhere was keeping ships safe more important than the waters in and around New York Harbor particularly after completion of the Erie Canal in 1825.