East Point Lighthouse
(And they make great day trips!)
By Wendy Greenberg
A gleaming white lighthouse, capped with red, towers over a strip of land at Sandy Hook, between Sandy Hook Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse has been standing there since it was built in 1764.
“Think about that,” muses Carol Winkie, president of the New Jersey Lighthouse Society (NJLHS). “Sandy Hook Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in the United States, was built before the United States was a country.” Sandy Hook is the lone survivor of the Eastern Seaboard Colonial lighthouses.
The lighthouses of New Jersey that stand today are beacons of maritime history. It is a quirky history, and a fascinating one. The “ABCs” (Absecon, Barnegat, and Cape May) were designed by George G. Meade, a hero of the Battle of Gettysburg. Finn’s Point Rear Range Lighthouse was built in Buffalo, N.Y., shipped by railroad, and pulled on wagons by mules to Supawana Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in 1877. The Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse sits in a football practice field in Paulsboro.
And, sadly, the original 1868 Tucker’s Island Lighthouse, a white tower with red trim, went into the sea in 1927, and soon after the entire island, formerly a resort, was wiped out. A replica stands today. more