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Absecon Lighthouse Facts
Absecon Lighthouse: Once in Atlantic City,
turn north on either Atlantic Ave. or Pacific Ave.
From Pacific Ave.,
Congress approved the building of Absecon Lighthouse: August 1854.
Land for the lighthouse was transferred to the federal government by the Camden and Atlantic Land Company on December 5, 1854 for the sum of $520.
The engineer was Lt. George
Gordon Meade (of the Battle of Gettysburg, Civil War
fame). Construction was started by Major Hartman
Absecon Lighthouse was first lighted: January 15, 1857
Characteristic: Fixed white light of the first order
Lens: Made by L. Sautter of Paris, France in 1854 especially for Absecon Lighthouse
Height from ground to top of ventilator: 171”
Steps to watch room: 228, 12 more to lantern room for a total of 240 steps
Focal plane: 167”
Range: 19.5 nautical miles or 20 standard miles
Diameter: at base- 26” 4’ – at top: 12”
Inside diameter: 10” from ground to watch room
Bricks used for original construction: 598,634
Decommissioned July 11, 1933
Daymark (The outside color of the tower changed many times):
1857: Natural brick
1871: White, red, white
1897: Orange, black, orange
Early 1900’s: Yellow, black, yellow (1902 or earlier)
(Decommissioned on July 11, 1933)
1948: White, blue, white (with a blue lantern room) Owned by the city of Atlantic
City. These were the city’s colors.
Early 1970’s:White, red, white (for second time) now owned by state of NJ.
1998: Yellow, black, yellow (These were the colors that it wore for the longest
period of time. Also the colors it was painted during the period
of interpretations selected for historic reasons (From the time the lantern
was electrified  to the time it was decommissioned .
Placed on New Jersey Register of Historic Places: (August 13 or September 11, 1970)
National Register of Historic Places: January 25,
Principal Keepers of Absecon Lighthouse:
Daniel L. Scull – 1857
William Bartlett - 1861
John F. Nixon – 1865
Abraham G. Wolf – 1873
Thomas Bills – 1896
Knud Hanson 1914
In addition to the principal keeper, there were two assistant keepers.
At least 26 men and one woman held the title of Keeper of Absecon Lighthouse during its years as an active aide to navigation.
During Absecon Lighthouse’s 76 years of service at least fourteen children were born there and at least seven people, including one infant, died there.
Inlet Public/Private Association (IPPA) was formed
to advocate for the redevelopment of the Inlet
section of Atlantic City.
1994 - 1995: The IPPA adopted
Absecon Lighthouse for restoration purposes and had
a Historic Structure Report done with a $50,000
1997: Restoration of tower and reconstruction of keeper’s house were started.
1998: On July 6th, the nearly completed keeper’s residence was lost in a fire. The tower was not harmed.
1999: The tower was opened to visitors in April. The lantern was relit on a daily basis.
2000: Rebuilding of the keeper’s residence was once more resumed.
2001: The newly reconstructed keeper’s house was opened to the public in October.
Absecon Lighthouse is owned by the State of New Jersey,
Department of Environmental Protection,
Division of Parks and Forestry.
It is leased to the IPPA for restoration and operation.
31 South Rhode Island Avenue
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Telephone: (609) 449-1360
Fax: (609) 449-1919
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