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

Keeper’s Dwelling

Absecon Lighthouse

 
 
Keeper’s Dwelling Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2011
1. Keeper’s Dwelling Marker
Inscription. The light from Absecon Lighthouse first beamed out across the Atlantic Ocean in 1857. At that time, the Lighthouse consisted of the original keeper’s dwelling, a thirty-foot connecting passageway and the tower. In 1903, adding a two-story addition to the front, removing the attic and changing the roofline expanded the keeper’s dwelling. By 1933, the bright lights and rising skyline of Atlantic City had diminished the beam’s effectiveness. The Light was decommissioned.

The keeper’s dwelling was demolished in the 1940’s, leaving the tower and little else to occupy the site. The site has been owned by the State of New Jersey since 1966. The keeper’s dwelling was reconstructed on its original foundations. Its exterior replicates the enlarged post-1903 keeper’s dwelling, although the interior and certain exterior features were adapted to meet the needs current visitors and staff. It was re-opened to the public in October 2002.

[ Reverse Side : ]
Lightkeepers of Absecon Lighthouse

Principal Lighthouse Keepers:
Daniel Scull                  1856
William Bartlett            1861
John S. Nixon                1865
Abraham G. Wolf          1873
Thomas Bills                  1896
Knud Hansen                1914

The life of a keeper was exacting in its demand for strict adherence
Reverse Side of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2011
2. Reverse Side of Marker
to routine and responsibility. In addition to the requirements for neatness and sobriety that are typical of any military posting, the keepers were directed to “remain in the watch room and give continuous attention to the light” while on duty, and never leave a lighthouse “wholly unattended.” This must have been especially hard for keepers without assistants. They were required to “visit the light at least twice during the night between 8pm and sunrise” and provide constant attention on stormy nights. Should a lone keeper need to leave the lighthouse at any time, it was necessary to find “a competent member of his family, or other responsible person” to be at the station in his absence.

The keeper is responsible for the care and management of the light, and for the station in general. He must enforce a careful attention to duty on the part of his assistants, who are required to observe the orders of the keepers in all matters connected with the duties of the Light-House Establishment. Any disobedience of such orders will be held as a sufficient cause for recommending the discharge of an assistant.

Instructions for Light-Keepers and Masters of Light-House Vessels,
By Authority of the Light-House Board, 1902

 
Location. 39° 21.969′ N, 74° 
Keeper’s Dwelling Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2011
3. Keeper’s Dwelling Marker
24.87′ W. Marker is in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in Atlantic County. Marker is on S Rhode Island Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in front of the reconstructed Keeper's Dwelling at 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. The Whaling Bark Stafford (within shouting distance of this marker); Lighthouse History (within shouting distance of this marker); Assistant Keepers’ Dwelling (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); They Called It “KY & The Curb” (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Atlantic City.
 
More about this marker. Three photographs of the tower and the keeper’s dwelling appear on the Keeper’s Dwelling marker. These have captions of, “The original Lighthouse keeper’s dwelling and attached tower as it looked before 1893. The assistant keepers’ dwelling is to the right of the tower.”; “The keeper’s dwelling, tower and assistant keepers’
Marker in Atlantic City image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2011
4. Marker in Atlantic City
The Showboat Casino can be seen behind the marker.
dwelling as it looked after 1903. The expanded keeper’s dwelling was the model for the recent reconstruction. Collection of the Atlantic County Historical Society.”; and “This photograph of the keeper’s dwelling tower and assistant keepers’ dwelling was taken about 1930, three years before the Light was decommissioned. Collection of Elinor Veit.”

Three other photographs are on the Lightkeepers of Absecon Lighthouse side of the marker. A picture at the upper left, from the Collection of the Atlantic County Historical Society, depicts “Knud Hansen inspecting the hydrangeas on the Lighthouse grounds.” At the upper right is a portrait of Abraham G. Wolf, from the Collection of the Atlantic County Historical Society. Below this is a photo of “Lighthouse keeper Thomas Bills, 2nd Assistant Knud Hansen and 1st Assistant Frank Adams, 1910. Collection of Fred Hansen.”
 
Also see . . .  Historic Absecon Lighthouse website. (Submitted on August 21, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Absecon Lighthouse Keeper’s Dwelling Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2011
5. Absecon Lighthouse Keeper’s Dwelling Marker
Absecon Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2011
6. 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.
Reconstructed Keeper’s Dwelling image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2011
7. Reconstructed Keeper’s Dwelling
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 21, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 455 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on August 21, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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