Jersey Cape Lighthouses
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CAPE MAY LIGHTHOUSE, Cape May Point: The third documented lighthouse at Cape May Point dates to 1859 and lights the entrance where the ocean meets the bay. Earlier lighthouses – the first built in 1823 and the second in 1847 – were lost to erosion and the encroaching ocean. It is 157 feet tall with 199 steps; the Oil House at ground level houses a visitor center and a museum shop. 800-275-4278; www.capemaymac.org

EAST POINT LIGHTHOUSE, Heislerville: Originally known as the Maurice River Lighthouse when it was built in 1849 to provide oyster schooners with a navigational marker to Port Norris, Millville, Mauricetown and Port Elizabeth, the Cape Cod-style lighthouse is the last remaining lighthouse on the New Jersey side of the Delaware Bay and the second oldest standing lighthouse in the state. It is still in operation guiding fishermen, oystermen and recreational boaters. Open for special events and tours by appointment; call the Maurice River Historical Society. 856-327-3714. website

DELAWARE BAY LIGHTHOUSES: Several area lighthouses are in the middle of the bay, built in the 19th and 20th centuries to help captains navigate the treacherous channel of the Delaware Bay. The lonely existence of life in tiny lighthouse, surrounded by water and far from land, drove one keeper to commit suicide in 1911.

HEREFORD INLET LIGHTHOUSE, North Wildwood: The Victorian-style building at First and Central avenues in North Wildwood, has five fireplaces and is furnished with antiques. It has a functioning light and is surrounded by lovely gardens. Back in 1874, John Marche was the first lighthouse keeper but after only three months in his post he drowned when his boat capsized while returning from the mainland. 609-522-4520; www.herefordinletlighthouse.com

THE OCEAN CITY LIFE SAVING STATION, Ocean City: Dating from 1886, it was one of 45 stations along the New Jersey coast before the modern-day Coast Guard was formed in 1915. Architecturally, the station is the only surviving example of the four 1882-Type stations built in New Jersey, and one of six surviving buildings of this type built between 1882 and 1891. Both the Tatham and Ocean City Life Saving Stations are listed on The National Register of Historic Places and are part of the annual Lighthouse Challenge Weekend.

TATHAM’S LIFE SAVING STATION, Stone harbor: built in 1895, it is the oldest building in Stone Harbor and has been in continuous service to the county as an american legion post and a museum, honoring the history of the lifesaving service, the United States Coast Guard and the military.

SPECIAL LIGHTHOUSE EVENTS
HEREFORD INLET LIGHTHOUSE MARITIME FESTIVAL: The annual Festival takes place in June on the lighthouse grounds and surrounding streets in North Wildwood with five distinct areas: the Anglesea Fine Arts and Crafts Show, the food court, a live performance stage, the Anglesea Marketplace and a living history area next to the lighthouse. The two days include pirates, boats, performers and demonstrations by men and women of the sea. The event is free, rain or shine. www.herefordinletlighthouse.com

NATIONAL LIGHTHOUSE DAY: Celebrate National Lighthouse Day at the Cape May Lighthouse at the base of the lighthouse. 609-884-5404; 800-275-4278; www.capemaymac.org

DELAWARE BAY LIGHTHOUSE CRUISES:Delaware Bay Lighthouse Cruises: The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities sponsors several lighthouse cruises during the summer to view and photograph historic lighthouses of the late 19th and the early part of the 20th centuries. 609-884-5404; 800-275-4278; www.capemaymac.org

LIGHTHOUSE CHALLENGE WEEKEND: New Jersey lighthouses, museums, and lifesaving stations host a “Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey” Oct. 20 and 21 when the public is invited (and challenged!) to visit all participating lighthouses and help raise funds for continued lighthouse preservation. Hours of operation for each participating lighthouse are on the lighthouse and museum websites, and at www.lighthousechallengenj.org

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Supported in part by a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel & Tourism.