Welcome to Sandy Hook Lighthouse, Located with in Gateway National Recreation Area.
This Lighthouse has the distinction of The Oldest Colonial Era Lighthouse In the USA. Built in 1764 by Issac Conro and Constructed of Rubble stone, the 85' tall Tower has withstood 236 years of weather and the attempts of Destruction by American Forces during the American Revolution. This tower Has an octagonal shape.
Although it is located in New Jersey, This Lighthouse was first known as the New York City Lighthouse because most of the money for construction was raised in New York . The money that was used to maintain this Lighthouse came from the Port of new York.
As stated earlier, American Revolution Forces tried to Destroy this lighthouse in the notion that this would stop the British from coming ashore at night. But as is evident in the photos on the next few pages this attempt was not successful. After the Revolution ended the lantern was repaired and put back into service.
In 1852 the Lighthouse Board reported that it was one of the 3 best masonry Lighthouses in the United States The lantern used until 1856, consisted of 18 Argand lamps and 21-inch reflectors. That same year the lighthouse Board installed a Third-Order Fresnel lens permitting the Lighthouse to serve a much broader purpose than as just an entrance light. at 88' above sea level the Light from this Lighthouse could be seen 15 miles off shore.
Little is known about the illumination of the colonial era. Lighthouse Historian's say that Whale oil was the primary source of Light in the lighthouses. Around 1790 spider lamps were introduced in the USA these were pans of oil and 4 or more wicks were used. In 1810 Winslow Lewis introduced the French Argand Lamp and Parabolic Reflector to the U.S. Government. this system was being uses in Europe and consisted of a Hallow circular wick that allowed the flame to burn brighter and more intense with no smoke. As I stated earlier, this system was being used in Europe and it had the reputation of working quite well, but in the US that was not the case. The silver was applied to thin and wore out through repeated cleanings. Also the Metal used for the reflector was to flimsy and often bent out of shape.
Despite these drawbacks this system was used for 40 years.
For more on this Lighthouse Visit the New Jersey Lighthouse Society at the Link Below.
My wife and I are members of the New Jersey Lighthouse Society
Funding was received for the Project and
Work began back in September of 1999
As of today's date the restoration project is completed
Rededication of this Historic Lighthouse is slated for June of 2000.
I will have some pictures to place here in the next week.
Keep coming back for more information.
More to follow
For Additional History
For pictures click Photo link below
All Pictures of Sandy Hook are the property of Salvatore Trentacoste Webmaster & Owner of Web Designs by Sam, use of these pictures without written consent or compensation is a direct violation of Copyright laws and said violator 's will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the Law.