Friends of Conover Beacon Society
Local Residents in the Middletown/Leonardo/Keansburg area are working to form a society for the preservation and promotion of the Conover Beacon. This cast iron range light is part of the Chapel Hill Range that runs from Sandy Hook to the town of Leonardo. This same tower once served as the Front Range for the Waackaack Range and before being moved to its current location from Keansburg was known as Point Comfort Light or Bayside Beacon.
Anyone interested in helping to save Conover and would like to join the forming Friends Society, please contact Dennis Robbins at (609) 871-4425 for more information or email him at DenRob45@aol.com. He’ll be happy to hear from you.
“Sea Isle City’s forgotten lighthouse is rediscovered.”
Imagine you’re strolling along the beach, enjoying the chilly evening air in Sea Isle City.
The date is the 5th of November, 1885 and you’re treated to a beautiful sight for the very first time-a beam of white light sweeping across the ocean. For the crews of the sailing ships and steamers proceeding along the New Jersey coastline, this new navigational aide can be seen for over 11 miles and appears to be flashing every 15 seconds. This brand new life saving illumination is emanating from a high tech kerosene lamp and magnified by a very expensive, state of the art, fourth order, Fresnel lens which was hand made in Paris. The United States Lighthouse Services’ latest light station is the Ludlum Beach Lighthouse- manned by the former lighthouse keeper of the Barnegat Light, Keeper Joshua H. Reeves.
We are very fortunate that this sturdy Victorian structure- now a private residence-has been moved twice since it was replaced by a steel tower and beacon in 1923. Otherwise, it would most definitely have been destroyed by a century of nor’easters and hurricanes. Although the present owner is sympathetic to the plight of our vanishing heritage sites, ever rising real estate values dictate that this building be moved to make way for new luxury homes.
Friends of the Ludlum Beach Lighthouse is trying to save the 1885 structure from becoming a permanent part of our local landfill. Helping with this project would be a worth while experience for you and your family- as well as preserving a part of our maritime history for generations to come. Please contact me, Bob Uhrmann at 609-390-9238, weekday evenings or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me at:
931 Seasounds Avenue
Palermo, New Jersey 08223-1061.
Please help us save another piece of New Jersey’s seashore history!
Alive and Well
This beautiful specimen is one of New Jersey’s hidden treasures. It’s the 5th order Fresnel Optic that once shown from Ship John Shoal Lighthouse in the Delaware Bay. This lens, along with several others, is not in a place easily accessed by the public. But they are still being taken care of and need our interest. Many of the original optics from surviving lights throughout the country have been removed, and unfortunately lost forever. We here in New Jersey are very fortunate. Most of our lights can boast having one of these rare lenses on display.
They are as beautiful and varied as gemstones. Along the costal shores of the state you can see 1st order lenses in the ‘beehive’ design as well as the magnificent 2nd order bivalve or ‘clam shell’ shape on display at Navesink. We have a variety of 3rd orders and a 4th housed at Hereford Inlet that has inspired its own “Harbor Lights” replica. There’s even a Fresnel lens that served in an Australian lighthouse now on display at Sea Girt. These are the jewels in the crown for lighthouse devotees.
The condition and preservation of them is of paramount importance to our society. Soon NJLHS will commission a comprehensive study of these lenses we house in the state. The study will identify the current condition and make recommendations on how to continue caring for them. Additionally the report will document any restoration work necessary to return the lens to a stable and eventually pristine condition. Estimates for what the work could costs will be provided to help plan and budget for the continued maintenance. This is a first step in ensuring the future of these optics
By investing a little now we will be able to guarantee they still shine for generations to come.
Preservation Looking for Helping Hands
Do you know one end of a paintbrush from the other? Do you like to garden and care for plants? Are you a frustrated carpenter at heart, or better yet a real one? This year NJLHS Preservation Committee is looking to find volunteers that want to be “hands on”. Maintenance is the biggest drain on the funding for our eleven land based lights. We want to see if we can’t help them stretch those dollars. We are compiling a list of volunteers willing to give a day or even a few hours to a lighthouse to help do some of the keeper’s chores around the place.
That might be painting some windows or fixing a door hinge, any small odd jobs that a handyman would be hired do. Our plan is to set up specific volunteer workdays at the various lights and provide some free labor. Possible events might include a spring clean up day or even a Tom Sawyer Painting Party. And for those carpenters in the mix, do we have some old houses for you. So if you have considered volunteering at one of our lights but felt you couldn’t make the long-term commitment, this could be for you.
Sign up below or just email me that your interested. We’re just looking for skill and interest at this point so don’t feel we will be asking you to work right away. You will tell us when you can help out, and what you would be willing to do. Remember this is in the very early stages of development. It’s our attempt to have the members interact at a more direct level with these lights, to give something of themselves rather than just monetary donations. So please consider helping out.
Preservation Committee Chair
|Click here to go to
a printable version of
the volunteer sign up sheet which can be
mailed to me at:
Richwood, NJ 08074
here to download a Microsoft word
file (.doc) that you can open up in Word,
fill out, then email it to me as an attachment.
© 2007 NJLHS