Highlands in Monmouth County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Twin Lights Historic Site
The building in front of you is the powerhouse. Inside the large double doors to your right were the engines and dynamos used to produce electrical power to light the lamp for the 1898 south tower Fresnel lens. This brick building, built in 1909, replaced a temporary wooden structure.
The noise from the engines housed inside was incredibly loud. Local residents complained about the noise and the intensity of light coming from the south tower. Blackout panels were installed on the landward side of the south tower, but nothing could be done about the noise.
In 1917, the machinery needed costly repairs. The Light House Board decided not to repair it, but replaced the electric lamp with an incandescent oil vapor lamp that was used until 1924 when commercial electrical power became available. The original machinery was removed in 1921, broken up and discarded because it was no longer needed.
Today the powerhouse is used as an exhibit building to display Twin Lights' famous south tower Fresnel lens.
Letter of Complaint about the South Tower Beacon, July 26, 1898
Hornsby Akroyd engines ran on kerosene and were used to turn electric dynamos that powered the south tower beacon. There were two of these engines in this powerhouse.
Lighthouse Keeper Murphy Rockett Examining the South Tower Fresnel Lens, 1937
At 25,000-candle power, this was one of the brightest beacons in the United States.
Erected by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, State Park Service.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lighthouses series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 26, 1898.
Location. 40° 23.783′ N, 73° 59.139′ W. Marker is in Highlands, New Jersey, in Monmouth County. Marker is on Light House Road, 0.1 miles south of Twinlights Terrace, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 Light House Rd, Highlands NJ 07732, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Electric Power Station (here, next to this marker); Twin Lights Mystery Cannon (a few steps from this marker); The Navesink Light Station (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Navesink Light Station (within shouting distance of this marker); From the Navesink Highlands (within shouting distance of this marker); Telegraph and Radar at Twin Lights (within shouting distance of this marker); Spermaceti Cove Life Saving Station (within shouting distance of this marker); Spermaceti Cove Lifesaving Station (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Highlands.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 19, 2022. It was originally submitted on October 19, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 27 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 19, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.