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Atlantic City in Atlantic County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Chronology

Absecon Lighthouse

 
 
Chronology Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), January 22, 2022
1. Chronology Marker
Inscription.  
1854. After a decade of prompting from Jonathan Pitney, the "father of Atlantic City," the U.S. Congress appropriated $35,000 to build a lighthouse on Absecon Island.

December 5, 1854. The Camden and Atlantic Land Co. transferred the land for the lighthouse to the U.S. government for the sum of $520.

1855. Construction began under the direction of Major Hartman Bache from the Corps of Topographical Engineers of the Army. Bache was replaced by Lieutenant George Gordon Meade, who later commanded the Union Army at the Battle of Gettysburg.

1856. An additional $17,436.62 was appropriated to finish the project. The final cost was $52,436.62.

January 15, 1857. Absecon Lighthouse was first lit on this date. Its first-order Fresnel lens was manufactured by the Parisian firm of Sautter & Cie and was illuminated by FUnck's mineral oil lamps. The beam could be seen nearly 20 miles out at sea.

1876. At the time it was built, Absecon Lighthouse was 1200 feet from the ocean. Beach erosion in the ears that followed brought the water onto the edges of the
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Lighthouse grounds. The construction of jetties in the 1870s successfully reserved this process, eventually leaving the Lighthouse in about the same relationship to the water as it was originally.

1910. The first incandescent oil vapor lamps were used in the lighthouse.

July 1, 1925 Electricity was first used for the beacon.

July 11, 1933. Absecon Lighthouse was decommissioned and the light was extinguished.

1954. The lantern was lit for a brief period for Atlantic City's centennial celebration.

1962. A small visitors' center was constructed at the base of the tower.

December 31, 1963. Governor Richard Hughes relit the lens for the first time in 25 years for New Jersey's Tercentenary year.

September 11, 1970. Absecon Lighthouse was placed on New Jersey's Register of Historic Places.

January 25, 1971. Absecon Lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1988. The Inlet Public/Private Association (IPPA) was formed adopting Absecon Lighthouse as its logo to signify the rebirth of the Inlet section of Atlantic City.

1994. IPPA formally adopted Absecon Lighthouse and funded a Historic Structure Report (HSR), leading to the tower's ultimate restoration.

1995. Sara Cureton
Chronology Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), January 22, 2022
2. Chronology Marker
was hired as Executive Director for the Lighthouse, filling the position of Lightkeeper for the first time since 1933.

1997. Restoration of the tower began in May. Reconstruction of the Keeper's Dwelling began shortly thereafter.

1999. IPPA opened the historic tower to visitors while construction continued on the Keeper's Dwelling.

2001. The Keeper's Dwelling was completed and opened to the public.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: CommunicationsWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lighthouses series list. A significant historical date for this entry is January 15, 1857.
 
Location. 39° 21.97′ N, 74° 24.879′ W. Marker is in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in Atlantic County. Marker is on South Rhode Island Avenue just north of Pacific Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3 S Rhode Island Ave, Atlantic City NJ 08401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Keeper’s Dwelling / Lightkeepers of Absecon Lighthouse (a few steps from this marker); The Whaling Bark Stafford (within shouting distance of this marker); Lighthouse History / Absecon Lighthouse Facts (within shouting distance of this marker); USCS Steamer Robert J. Walker / Assistant Keepers' Dwelling
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(within shouting distance of this marker); Absecon Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); The Life-Saving Station (within shouting distance of this marker); 44th National Encampment Grand Army of the Republic (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Edna Patricia Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Atlantic City.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on January 23, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 79 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 23, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Feb. 25, 2024