Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Atlantic City in Atlantic County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Lighthouse History

Absecon Lighthouse

 
 
Lighthouse History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2011
1. Lighthouse History Marker
Inscription. The ocean waters off Absecon Inlet were considered some of the most deadly along the East Coast. Between 1847 and 1856, at least sixty-four ocean-going ships were lost off the coast of Absecon Beach. Dr. Jonathan Pitney, who promoted the development of Atlantic City, lobbied the federal government for a lighthouse as early as the 1830’s. In the first ten months after Absecon Lighthouse was lit in 1857, not a single ship was wrecked.

When built, the Lighthouse stood about 1200 feet from the ocean. Sand, seagulls, the smell of salt water and the flow of tides marked the days. The relentless pounding of the waves quickly eroded the coastline surrounding the beacon, bringing water onto the corner of the Lighthouse property by 1876. The construction of jetties reversed this process, and subsequent homes and hotels separated the Lighthouse from the sea, resulting in the landscape you see today.

The Lighthouse was also Atlantic City’s beacon for tourists. Visitors flocked to the Lighthouse, making keepers as much tour guides as light tenders. Images of the Lighthouse graced postcards, plates, glasses and other souvenirs made for the seashore tourist trade.

[ Reverse Side: ]
Absecon Lighthouse Facts

Constructed:           1855-1857
First lit:                    January 15, 1857
Decommissioned
Reverse Side of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2011
2. Reverse Side of Marker
and light extinguished:           July 11, 1933
Re-Lit:                     October 3, 1999
Tower height:           171 feet
Focal plane:              167 feet
Physical location:     Latitude: 39° 21” 56” North
                                 Longitude: 74° 24” 53” West
Type of construction:           Double-walled conical brick and mortar tower with cast-iron spiral central staircase
Foundation materials:           Stone foundation with a timber platform
Tower diameter:           27’ at the bottom – tapers to 14’9” at the watch level
Number of steps:           228 to the watch level (12 more to the lantern room – for a total of 240 steps)
Daymark:                   Yellow with a black band
Original lighting:        First-order Fresnel lens with Funck’s mineral oil lamps
Present lighting:         Original first-order Fresnel lens and electric lamp
Characteristic:           Fixed beacon
Beacon range:           19.5 nautical miles
Original ancillary structures:           Assistant Keepers’ Dwelling, oil storage house, and various outbuildings
Current ancillary structures:            Oil storage house
Owned by:           The State of New Jersey
                              Department of Environmental Protection,
                              Division of Parks and Forestry
Administered
Marker in Atlantic City image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2011
3. Marker in Atlantic City
The Showboat Casino can be seen in the background, behind the marker.
by:          Inlet Public/Private Association (IPPA)
 
Location. 39° 21.972′ N, 74° 24.849′ W. Marker is in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in Atlantic County. Marker is on Pacific Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is located near the Absecon Lighthouse. Marker is in this post office area: Atlantic City NJ 08401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Assistant Keepers’ Dwelling (a few steps from this marker); Keeper’s Dwelling (within shouting distance of this marker); The Whaling Bark Stafford (within shouting distance of this marker); The Life-Saving Station (within shouting distance of this marker); Absecon Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); 44th National Encampment Grand Army of the Republic (within shouting distance of this marker); Edna Patricia Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); They Called It “KY & The Curb” (approx. one mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Atlantic City.
 
More about this marker. The marker features a portrait of Dr. Jonathan Pitney, from the Collection of the Atlantic County Historical Society. Two postcards featuring the Lighthouse appear at the bottom of the marker, while a picture at the upper left of the marker contains a different picture
Lighthouse History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2011
4. Lighthouse History Marker
with the caption “The Lighthouse image was reproduced on many souvenirs. This image was printed on a ceramic tile.”
 
Also see . . .  Historic Absecon Lighthouse website. (Submitted on August 20, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Absecon Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2011
5. Absecon Lighthouse
At 171 feet, the Absecon Lighthouse is the third tallest lighthouse in the United States and the tallest in New Jersey. It is also the oldest standing structure in Atlantic City.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 466 times since then and 19 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.
Paid Advertisement