Historic Photos and
Lighthouse "Firsts" & Calendar
- 1823 The Sandy Hook Lightship
becomes the first
lightship in the United States.
- 1841 Navesink Twin Lights
becomes the first lighthouse in
World to be equipped with a Fresnel lens.
- 1850 The
Lighthouse the first completed
lighthouse in the country built on a screwpile foundation.
- 1868 Sandy Hook East Beacon
becomes the first lighthouse in
country to be equipped with a steam driven fog siren.
- 1883 Navesink Twin Lights
becomes the initial first-order
lighthouse to use mineral oil (kerosene) for fuel.
- 1889 The Sandy Hook Lighthouse
becomes the first lighthouse
the U.S. to use the incandescent lamp.
- 1898 The Navesink Twin Lights
South tower had a second order Bi-Valve lens installed which was
brighter than most first order lights in the US. It was lit by
electricity and was one of the
powerful lighthouse(s) in the nation at this time.
wireless messages to be sent and received in the
U.S. were exchanged between operators aboard the S.S. Ponce and
- 1903 Compressed acetylene
disolved in acetone was first
fuel at the Sandy Hook South Beacon and Jones Rock Beacon, Connecticut.
- 1921 The Sea Girt Lighthouse and
the first stations to use a radio fog beacon. A device was also
installed aboard the Fire Island lightship.
The first lighthouse in the country to be illuminated by a
sodium vapor lamp is the Cape May Lighthouse.
- January 1, 1859 The present Barnegat Lighthouse first
- January 2, 1881 Five Fathom Bank Lightship #40, slips her
moorings during storm and heads for the Delaware Breakwater.
- January 1, 1944 The Coast Guard extinguished Barnegat
- January 16, 1912 Samuel Flick, the first known "custodian"
East Point Lighthouse takes the oath of office.
- January 15, 1857 The Absecon Lighthouse first lighted.
- January 22, 2001 The 492 foot Maltese freighter Kouros V slams into the
Ambrose Light destroying the tower.
- January 24, 1883 Ten acres of land purchased by Federal
Government for the construction of the Cohansey Lighthouse.
- January 25, 1971 Absecon Lighthouse was added to the
National Register of Historic Places.
- February 1, 1910 The Elbow of Cross Ledge Lighthouse was
- February 13, 1913 The Miah Maull Lighthouse is completed.
- February 15, 1950 Mayor John H. Heitzenroder turns on a
token light in Barnegat Lighthouse as part of the 100th Anniversary
Celebration of Ocean
- March 4, 1776 Congress resolves
to destroy the Sandy Hook
Lighthouse so as not to aid the British in the conquest of New York.
- March 12, 1776 Lighting
apparatus removed from Sandy Hook
Lighthouse by Major Malcolm is turned over to Colonel George Taylor of
Monmouth County Militia.
- March 15, 1988 The last Coast
"keepers" are removed from
the Ambrose Light-tower. The station is now operated electronically by
Coast Guard on Governor's Island, NY.
- March 22, 1950 Finns Point
Rear Range Light discontinued.
- March 25, 1911 Samuel Soper
begins his duties as keeper of
- March 28, 1950 The Ambrose
Lightship was struck at 4:04am, the morning of March 28, 1950, by the
Grace Line's passenger/cargo ship, Santa Monica. This occurred during
heavy fog with zero visibility accompanied by gale force winds, which
also delayed other liners in New York Harbor such as the Queen
Elizabeth. Crew members of the Ambrose were not hurt, but the
hull of the lightship was punctured.
- April 2, 1877 Finns Point Front and Rear Range Lights first
- April 11, 1849 Deed from Joshua Brick and his wife
tract of land to the U.S. Government is recorded. The land becomes the
the East Point Lighthouse.
- April 16, 1874 Hereford Inlet
- April 23, 1924 The first test of tube transmitter for Radio
signal station which was developed to take the place of the spark
transmitters in use
was placed in service on the Ambrose Channel
- April 27, 1958 Maurice River Cove Lighthouse destroyed
- May 1, 1847 The First Cape May Lighthouse discontinued as
- May 1, 1851 The Brandywine Shoal Lightship is transferred
- May 1, 1862 The current Navesink Twin Lights, (replacing
the 1828 towers) were first lit with two new first order Drum or
Beehive shaped Fresnel lenses.
- May 1, 1921 The first radio fog signals in the United
placed in commission at the Ambrose Channel Lightship, Sea Girt Light
and the Fire Island Lightship, N.Y.
- May 8, 1926 Title to
Barnegat Lighthouse deeded from Federal
Government to the State of New Jersey, but the Coast Guard reserved the
maintain a beacon there until December 31, 1943.
- May 8, 1761 A
Lottery authorized by the Assembly of New York to
raised funds for the erection of a beacon on Sandy Hook.
- May 10, 1762 Mr. Isaac Hartshorne conveys title to the
tract to the representatives of the New York lottery.
- May 11, 1874 First Illuminated Hereford Inlet Lighthouse.
- May 18, 1826 Funds appropriated for the construction of the
- June 9, 1938 The light is
removed from the Finns Point Rear Range Lighthouse and placed on a
white skeleton tower stop on a concrete based in
front of the former Finns
Point Front Range Light.
10, 2000 Sandy Hook
Lighthouse re-dedicated after renovation work completed (236th
- June 11, 1764 The Sandy
Lighthouse is first lighted.
- June 11, 1896 Congress
appropriates $4,500 for the construction of the Maurice River Range
- June 13, 1763 A second
lottery is held to raise funds for the completion of the Sandy Hook
- June 22, 1910 Absecon
Lighthouse's mineral oil lamps replaced by I.O.V. apparatus.
- June 24, 1960 Relief #78
and sunk by freighter Green Bay, but crew escapes injury.
- June 26, 1766 Sandy Hook
Lighthouse struck by lightning, despite the lightning rod on its roof.
- June 30, 1834 Congress
authorizes the first Barnegat Lighthouse.
- June 30, 1910 Harriet
Yates appointed Keeper of Sea Girt Lighthouse. She serves until July
24, 1910 when John L. Hawkey is appointed.
- July 1, 1925 Absecon Lighthouse electrified.
- July 7, 1884 Congress appropriates $5,000 for construction
Ludlum Beach Lighthouse
- July 11, 1933 The Absecon Lighthouse is decommissioned.
- July 15, 1971 East Point Lighthouse severely damaged by
- July 20, 1835 The first Barnegat Lighthouse first lighted.
- July 21, 1933 Cohansey Lighthouse burns to the ground under
- August 3, 1983 contract awarded to K&K Painting of
for the restoration of Finns Point Rear Range Lighthouse.
- August 10, 1877 Ship John Shoal Lighthouse illuminated for
- August 14, 1871 The Absecon lighthouse receives it first
of paint-3 50 foot bands of white, red, and white.
- August 20, 1838 The Egg Island Lighthouse first exhibits
- August 20, 1950 The Egg Island Lighthouse burns to the
- August 23, 1893 Lightship #37, Five Fathom Bank
at her moorings and sinks during a gale.
- August 23, 1967 The Ambrose Light Tower becomes operational.
- August 31, 1852 Funds appropriated by Congress for the
construction of the Conover Beacon.
- September 9, 1941 Original Conover Beacon razed.
- September 12, 1838 The Sandy Hook Lightship breaks her
in a gale. $500.00 reward offered for the return of her moorings.
- September 19, 1979 Maurice River Range Light Station
- September 20, 1855 Lt. George Gordon Meade submits his
after inspecting the original Barnegat Lighthouse. Hereford Inlet
listed on National Register of Historic Places. (1977).
23, 1785 A deed conveys a tract of land from Thomas
Hand to the Board of Wardens of the Port of Philadelphia, presumably
the construction of a lighthouse at Cape May. No evidence to
indicates the lighthouse was built at this time.
- September 27,
1934 Cape May Light changed to Sodium Vapor light
which gave the beacon a yellowish cast.
- October 1, 1881 The lights of the Horseshoe Range, East
- October 12, 1927 Tucker's Island Lighthouse falls into the
sea after its foundation was washed out..
- October 14, 1984 An open house held at Finns Point Rear
Lighthouse to honor the efforts of those involved in the restoration
- October 16, 1893 The U.S.S. Vesuvius destroys the
of Lightship #37, Five Fathom Bank.
- October 17, 1898 Frank T. Hills begins his duties as keeper
the Maurice River Range Light Station.
- October 20, 1914 The second Brandywine Shoal Lighthouse, a
caisson-type, is first lighted.
- October 20, 1885 Ludlum Beach Lighthouse first lighted.
- October 20, 1953 The Steel Apprentice, and ore
rams the Elbow of Cross Ledge Lighthouse, virtually destroying the
- October 23, 1878 The 1838 Cohansey Lighthouse is severly
in a storm.
- October 28, 1850 Brandywine Shoal Lighthouse screwpile
- October 28, 2006 Navesink Lighthouse was added to the
National Historical Landmarks.
- October 31, 1859 Present Cape May Lighthouse (the third)
- October 1996 The 754 foot
Greek oil tanker Aegeo hits
the Ambrose Light Station
- November 1, 1912 The name of the Maurice River Lighthouse
officially changed to East Point Lighthouse.
- November 2, 1857 The first Barnegat Lighthouse topples into
- November 2, 1905 Rufus D. Lingo assumes duties as keeper at
Maurice River Range Light Station but is replaced on November 25, 1905.
- November 3, 2007 The tanker Axel Spirit struck the
Ambrose Light Station tower. No injuries or pollution were reported.
- November 15, 1876 The Deepwater Point Front and Rear Range
are first illuminated.
- November 16, 1790 New Jersey cedes Sandy Hook Lighthouse to
- November 21, 1923 Ludlum Beach Lighthouse heavily damaged
when keeper's cat knocks over a unattended oil lamp.
- November 25, 1900 The British schooner Goldseeker
across Scotland Lightship #7's bow, but damage was minimal.
- November 25, 1905 Daniel Bailey assumed duties at Maurice
Range Light Station taking over from Rufus T. Lingo.
- December 5, 1854 The deed conveyed from the Camden and
Land Company to the United States Government for the purchase of a
for the Absecon Lighthouse at a cost of $520.00.
- December 5, 1913
signal at Miah Maull Light station completed
and ready for use.
- December 7, 1941 East Point Lighthouse discontinued.
- December 8, 1875 Construction at the Cross Ledge lighthouse
completed to the point that a light can be exhibited from the tower.
- December 8, 1876 Edward (Thomas) Dickinson appointed keeper
the Finns Point Rear Range Lighthouse at a salary of $500 per annum.
- December 9, 1875 The Upper Middle Lightship (Cross Ledge)
Lightship is removed from her station due to the completion of the
- December 10, 1896 Sea Girt Lighthouse first
- December 20, 1983 Nantucket Lightship (commissioned
WLV-613) relieved from station by a LNB. the last lightship to be
decommissioned in the United States.
- December 26, 1880 Lightship
Fathom Bank damaged
in a storm.
- December 31, 1880 The lights of the Fort Mifflin Bar Cut
Range Lighthouse, also known as the Tinicum Island Front Range
and the Fort Mifflin BarCut Rear Range Lighthouse are
- December 31, 1963 The Absecon Lighthouse was
midnight to symbolize the beginning of the New Jersey Tercentenary