Information on:

Absecon Lighthouse

31 South Rhode Island Avenue
609-449-1360

In this area of the site I would like to detail some of the events and history that lead to the construction of the lighthouse. In these modern times it is easy to take for granted the steps in technology that made the inlet and local area the safe navigable waterway it is today.

Dr. Jonathan Pitney, later called the "Father of Atlantic City," was concerned about the loss of ships and lives along Absecon Beach. Earning the area the nickname of "the Graveyard Inlet." The schooners LOUISA, Ann, Nile, DUROC and other ships - George Cannon, Frankfort and Gherge's Kahn were among the scores of vessels that met their fates on the shores between the Great and Little Egg Harbors. The lighthouse was determined to be necessary to protect the ships from the dangerous Absecon Shoals.

In 1854, based on promptings by Pitney, the U.S. Lighthouse Service requested and received an appropriation from Congress in the amount of $35,000 for a lighthouse on Absecon Island. The land was obtained and construction began in 1855 under the direction of Major Hartman Bache who was later replaced by Lieutenant (future General) George Meade. In 1856 an additional $17,000 was appropriated and the work was completed at the end of 1856 under the direction of Lt. Col. William Reynolds. The final cost was $52,187.

In the first ten months of operation, the lighthouse proved its worth -- not a single ship was wrecked



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