Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Thirteen~ NJ Lighthouse Challenge

Last weekend was the NJ Lighthouse Challenge. The challenge is to visit all 11 lighthouse and two museums in a weekend. In case you didn’t know I love lighthouses. There is something about them. Guardians, symbols of hope, lights showing the way home, Comfort in a storm. And yeah, there is something romantic and mysterious about them. I read about the challenge in New Jersey Monthly Magazine and mentioned it to the hubby. “Lets Go” was his reply. Did I ever tell you I love the man! So we arranged for Grandpa to stay with Tom and Tim. And on a clear crisp fall Saturday morning Phil, Beanie and I headed off on our adventure. Conveniently, there were 13 stops,, Feel free to pass over my boring drivel of facts and just enjoy the pictures if you like… just pardon my amateur photography *g*

NJ Lighthouse Challenge '08 Sandy Hook

1. Sandy Hook NJ- This lighthouse was put into service on June 11,1764 and is the oldest lighthouse in the US that is still in service. Rising 103 feet into the air. In 1890 Fort Hancock was built around the lighthouse to protect the entrance of New York Harbor. Definitely a place we intend to make a daytrip to in the spring or summer.

NJ Lighthouse Challenge '08 Sea Girt

2. Sea Girt, NJ - Lit on Dec. 10 1896 The Sea Girt Lighthouse would be the last live-in lighthouse built on the Atlantic Coast. This area of NJ was formally known a Wreck Pond. My favorite piece of info from here is…The first keeper assigned to Sea Girt was Major Wolfe, described as a “friendly soul.” This attribute served him well during the Civil War, when, as a Union officer, he would don a grey uniform, and with his best imitation of a southern drawl would go undercover amongst captured Confederate soldiers to learn of the enemies positions and battle plans.

NJ Lighthouse Challenge '08 Twin Lights
NJ Lighthouse Challenge '08 Twin Lights

3. Twin Lights, Highlands NJ-Twin Lights is situated 200 feet above sea level in Highlands, New Jersey. Twin Lights has been used as an aid to navigation over the coastal waters of NJ since 1828.The current lighthouse was built in 1862 and replaced the earlier lights which were beginning to deteriorate. It’s way up on a hill and we walked up a steep narrow road to get there but the walk was worth it. There was a flagpole dedication going on while we were there. Coast guard helicopter flybys and color guard procession were neat to watch.

NJ Lighthouse Challenge '08 Barnegat

4. Barnegat Light, NJ- In the mid 1600s, Dutch explorers named the inlet at the northern end of Long Beach Island “Barendegat,” which means “Inlet of Breakers.” Shoals, located offshore from the inlet, create the breakers and are a dangerous hazard for vessels passing. The first light house was lit on August 3 1835. It was lost to the sea and the new and still standing tower was lit in 1856 with a First-order Fresnel lens. Locals know it as Ol’ Barney. We spent many summers on Long Beach Island and crabbing at the Barnegat inlet.

NJ Lighthouse Challenge '08 Barnegat 1st order fresnel lens

5. Barnegat Museum- First-order fresnel lens. This is the orginal lense used to magnify the light within to shine out to the ocean. It was lost after a visit to the Chicago worlds fair and recently returned.

NJ Lighthouse Challenge '08 Tucker's Island

6. Tucker’s Island- I thought this lighthouse looked out of place. I then found out it is a replica of one that stood near the inlet that expanded and the island was lost, taking with it the lighthouse, coastguard station and schoolhouse. By 1952 the entire island was gone. In the 1980’s a group of Ocean County men decided they didn’t want to lose the Old bay way of life and they constructed Tuckerton Seaport to preserve the history the ocean took away.

Nj Lighthouse Challenge '08 Absecon

7. Absecon, Atlantic City NJ Lit for the first time on January 15 1857, after many petitions to congress for a lighthouse by the cities founding father, Dr Jonathan Pitney. It still stands today in the midst of the Showboat casino’s.

NJ Lighthouse Challenge '08 Herefort

8. Hereford Inlet, Lit May 11, 1874 it leads ships into the calmer waters between the mainland and Five Mile Barrier Island off its coast. Gothic style and beautiful gardens. We arrived near dusk and it was so beautiful.

NJ Lighthouse Challenge '08 Cape May

9. Cape May NJ Felt like home *g* we arrived at sunset and stuck around for the night climb. Awesome view which didn’t turn out on my camera *pout* Cape May Lighthouse marks the southernmost point of NJ and the Northern side of the Delaware Bay. The lighthouse standing was the third one constructed It was lit October 31, 1859 Happy Halloween.

Cape May Museum First order fresnel lens

10. Cape May Museum- First-order Fresnel Lens- The illuminating apparatus for the Cape May Lighthouse was a first-order Fresnel lens supplied by Henry Lepaute. The lens had sixteen flash panels and revolved to produce a white flash every thirty seconds. It was given to the museum after a Rotating Aero beacon replaced it in 1964. The light bulb inside the lens was 750 watts prior to electricity the keeper had to carry 7 gallons of kerosene up the stairs daily and wash away the soot from the lens glass. It was not a glamorous profession. Here we spent the night at our family house and ate at the C-view Inn. It was Victorian Week and all the houses were lit and open for tours but we were exhausted and curled in to bed.

NJ Lighthouse Challenge '08 East Point

11. East Point NJ - We got to hang out here for a while as the tide came in access roads were flooded and we had to wait for the water to recede. But it was fun and the volunteers had yummies for sale. Located on the North side of the Delaware Bay at the mouth of the Maurice River. A very popular area for vessels in the oyster trade. It was lit Sept 10 1849.

NJ Lighthouse Challenge '08 Finn's Point

12. Finn’s Point-Finns Point is a range lighthouse. Erected to help vessels transition from the Delaware Bay into the Delaware River. It was lit in April 2 1877 “94 feet 8 and one half inches high from base to the focal plane. 130 steps.

NJ Lighthouse Challenge '08 Tinicum

13. Tinicum Rear Range- Another light to guide ships down the Delaware River. Tinicum serves to guide ships upriver. It was lit Dec. 31 1880.

That was all our stops. We had a great time seeing them and they have my mind swirling with all kinds of inspiration. Now I am off to get ready for the NJRW conference which hopefully will get the creative juices flowing even more. It should JR Ward, Eloisa James, Sandra Hil,l Elizabeth Hoyt, and Pamelia Stratton are few I’ll get to hear speak. Everyone have a great weekend and
Thanks for stopping by~

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1 comment:

Mechele Armstrong said...

Awesome Thursday Thirteen! I love the pictures.