Cape May Point in Cape May County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Lighthouses were generally powered by Sperm Whale oil until its price rose dramatically in the 1850s. For about twenty years, lard was used as an alternative. In the mid-1870s, kerosene, which was less expensive than lard, became readily available, and was adopted by the federal Lighthouse Board as the official power source for its lighthouses.
Until that time, the Cape May Lighthouse’s oil was stored in the side rooms of the tower vestibule, an arrangement common to many lighthouses. Kerosene was much more volatile than whale oil or lard, and the Lighthouse Board, concerned for the safety of its keepers, made a recommendation to Congress in 1885 that a separate oil storage building be erected for each lighthouse. Storing the oil outside of the lighthouse reduced the risk in the tower.
The oil house
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 38° 55.991′ N, 74° 57.619′ W. Marker is in Cape May Point, New Jersey, in Cape May County. Marker is on Lighthouse Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Marker is located in Cape May Point State Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cape May Point NJ 08212, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cape May Lighthouse (a few steps from this marker); Lighthouse Keepers' Homes & Gardens (a few steps from this marker); All Shapes, Sizes and Materials (a few steps from this marker); Fragile Flyers (about 400 Swarms of Dragonflies (about 400 feet away); Flipper and Friends (about 600 feet away); Shorebirds Galore (about 700 feet away); Ridges, Rivers and Coastlines (about 700 feet away).
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Cape May Lighthouse
Also see . . . Cape May Lighthouse. Lighthouse Friends website. (Submitted on August 28, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 5, 2018. It was originally submitted on August 28, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 661 times since then and 18 times this year. Last updated on March 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photos: 1. submitted on August 28, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 2, 3. submitted on August 27, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 4, 5. submitted on August 28, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.