Built in 1874 on the north end of Five Mile Beach in
1874, at 39° 00' 00" latitude by 74° 47' 00". Its
purpose was to mark the entrance of the inlet for the
coal trade and other small steamers navigating the
The lighthouse was completed on April 16, 1874, and
equipped with a fourth order Fresnel lens made by
P. Sauter of Paris, France. It was first illuminated May
11, 1874. It is built in a style known as Swiss Gothic.
It is the only one of this type on the East Coast.
Threatened by the encroachment of the south side of
Hereford Inlet, its foundation was damaged in a severe
storm on August, 1913. As a result the lighthouse was
moved inland (150 feet to the west) in 1913.
In May, 1938, there was a fire in the lighthouse that
began in a bedroom and quickly spread to the nursery
causing extensive damage. Just a few days earlier,
Keeper Ferdinard Heinzman had been awarded a pennant for
efficiency. He was busy painting the exterior of the
lighthouse when the fire broke out.
Used until 1964, it was discontinued and superseded by
a nearby iron tower. This iron tower stood from
1961-1983. The lighthouse was used for a time by the
Marine Police, until the Marine Police were transferred
to a nearby State Police building. No longer needed
Department of Environmental Protection backed a plan
that became the basis for a 20 year renewable, no cost
lease with the City of North Wildwood in 1982. The city
began restoration, operation and maintenance of the
lighthouse. The lighthouse was listed on the National
Registry of Historic Places on September 20, 1977. In
1986, the light was relighted and is still maintained by
the Coast Guard.