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Sandy Hook in Monmouth County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Lighting the Way

Gateway National Recreation Area

 

—Sandy Hook —

 
Lighting the Way Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 20, 2009
1. Lighting the Way Marker
Inscription. When the Sandy Hook Lighthouse was built in 1764, ships entered New York Harbor through a natural channel that ran close to the Sandy Hook shore. Sandbars were a constant danger and the merchants of New York built the Lighthouse to protect their shipping interests. Today, the Light remains a part of the system of navigational aids that guide ships through the harbor.

Lighting the Tower
In early days, the tower was lighted by whale oil lamps and by mirrors that reflected the lamps’ lights. Kerosene later replaced the whale oil and in the 1920s the tower was electrified. The mirrors were replaced in 1857 with the Fresnel lens still in use today.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 40° 27.644′ N, 74° 0.117′ W. Marker is in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, in Monmouth County. Marker is on Gateway NRA Road, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located in the Fort Hancock Historic District, at the north end of the parking lot southwest of the lighthouse. Marker is in this post office area: Highlands NJ 07732, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fire House Number 2 (within shouting distance of this marker); Mortar Battery
Markers in Fort Hancock image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 20, 2009
2. Markers in Fort Hancock
Two markers are found at this location. The "Lighting the Way" marker is seen here on the left.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Chow Time! (within shouting distance of this marker); Fill’er Up! (within shouting distance of this marker); Keeping the Light (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Handball Court (about 300 feet away); Sandy Hook Light (about 300 feet away); Lights Out! (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Sandy Hook.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker contains a picture of many ships off lower Manhattan, with a caption of “Sandy Hook and the Highlands are visible in the distance in this early 1872 view of the New York harbor.” A series of pictures appear along the top of the marker. The first is a photo of a Fresnel lens and has a caption of “The glass prisms of the beehive-shaped Fresnel lens magnify the light into a powerful beam that can be seen for 19 miles on a clear night,” Next to this is a picture of the nearby lighthouse and the caption “The Sandy Hook Lighthouse was among the first lights built in America and today is the nation’s oldest lighthouse
Sandy Hook Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 20, 2009
3. Sandy Hook Lighthouse
Dating back to 1764, this lighthouse is the oldest still standing in the United States.
tower. This 1790 view shows the original lens house, before the Fresnel lens was installed.” Next to this is a picture of people responding to a shipwreck. Its caption reads “The passenger ship Rusland wrecked off Long Branch in 1877. Shifting sand shoals off the New Jersey coast were a constant hazard.” The rightmost picture is a pair of maps showing the location of the Sandy Hook Lighthouse in 1764 and today. The caption for the maps is “The longshore current along this part of the New Jersey shore drives sand to the north. The Lighthouse was originally 500 feet (152 m) from the tip of Sandy Hook. Today it is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the tip and the Lighthouse is landlocked.”
 
Also see . . .
1. Sandy Hook Lighthouse, NJ. Lighthouse Friends website. (Submitted on September 26, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Sandy Hook Light – Fort Hancock, NJ. New Jersey Lighthouse Society website. (Submitted on September 26, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. LandmarksWaterways & Vessels
 
Fresnel Lens image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 20, 2009
4. Fresnel Lens
The Fresnel Lens of the Sandy Hook Lighthouse can be seen in this photo.
Identical Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 20, 2009
5. Identical Marker
An identical "Lighting the Way" marker is located just north of the lighthouse.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 769 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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