To aid ships sailing the treacherous mid-channel of Delaware Bay, a series of lighthouses were constructed in the 19th Century and the early 20th Century. Discover Bunker At Cape May Point in Cape May, New Jersey: World War II bunker still standing on the New Jersey beach. The first was built in 1823; the second in 1847. A special note, Cape May Lighthouse is operated as a museum, which you can climb, by the Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. At the Lighthouse, you might even feel the presence of long-ago keepers. 626) Cape May Point 609.884.5404 www.capemaymac.org The third time was the charm…. Built in 1859, the current lighthouse used the original bricks of the 1847 lighthouse. Cape May Lighthouse 215 Lighthouse Avenue (Rt. Join Santa at the Cape May Lighthouse, Cape May Point State Park,  along with food, music, vendors and family-friendly activities. The Cape May Lighthouse was built in 1859, and is the third fully documented lighthouse to be built at Cape May Point. The Oil House on the grounds contains a fully accessible Visitors’ Orientation Center and Museum Shop. Take an evening trolley ride down the ghostly path that leads to the Cape May Lighthouse, as you hear about psychic medium Craig McManus’ paranormal findings. Make your own crafts, listen to songs of the sea, meet the lighthouse keepers, shop for nautical merchandise and more, all on the grounds of the Cape May Lighthouse. The Cape May Lighthouse was built in 1859, and is the third fully documented lighthouse to be built at Cape May Point. Location: Cape May Point, on the southernmost point of New Jersey and the northern side of the entrance to Delaware Bay. Keepers’ pay averaged $600 a year around the turn of the 20th century. and is only lit when the inn is open i.e. It is said, during this time period, there were many shipwrecks along th… The State of New Jersey owns the Lighthouse, but the Coast Guard maintains the beacon apparatus. CAPE MAY LIGHT. Cape May MAC (Museums + Arts + Culture) leases the Lighthouse from the State with the mission of restoring the structure and operating it as a historic site. The tower is 157 feet tall and there are 217 steps from the ground to the top. Built in 1859, the Cape May Lighthouse is still an aid to navigation. Walk the 199 steps up to the watch gallery for a panoramic view. The view from the top extends to Cape May City and Wildwood to the north, Cape May Point to the south, and, on a clear day, Cape Henlopen, Delaware, to the west. The lighthouse was automated in 1946, and continues in operation to this day. The United States Congress authorizes the construction of a lighthouse "… on or near the pitch of Cape Lookout." Visitors who climb the 199 steps to the top of the lighthouse are rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. From its opening in May 1988, over 2.1 million people have paid to climb to the top. [8], The top of the Cape May Lighthouse on July 4, 2005, The US and NJ flags at Cape May Lighthouse, The lighthouse seen from the Cape May cove, The view from the top of the Cape May Lighthouse on July 4, 2005, U.S. National Register of Historic Places, Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities, National Register of Historic Places listings in Cape May County, New Jersey, "Inventory of Historic Light Stations -- New Jersey", "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Cape May County", "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Cape May Lighthouse", "New Lower Township police cars roll in black and white", Cape May Lighthouse - Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities, Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum, Naval Air Station Wildwood Historic District, New Asbury Methodist Episcopal Meeting House, Saint Peter's-By-The-Sea Episcopal Church, Hangar No. One has since burned, but the other is still standing, on the other side of the fence, near the entrance to the tower. More than 2.5 million visitors have climbed the lighthouse since it opened to the public in 1988. Women Minorities Auxiliary Reserves Keepers Biographies Units. The process of restoration took over 15 years (1987-2002), and was funded by nearly $2 million in grants, principally from the New Jersey Historic Trust and the Inter-Modal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) program, administered by the State Department of Transportation. The walls were designed to withstand winds several times above hurricane force. History Program Resources Research. The beacon of light has been guiding sailors since 1859. The walls were designed to withstand winds several times above hurricane force. Cape May Lighthouse. CAPE MAY LIGHTHOUSE The Cape May lighthouse was first lit in 1859 and eventually automated in 1946. They carried the oil to the top of the tower every day to power the light, and kept the lens apparatus clean and in working order. The lighthouse originally contained a first order Fresnel lens. In 1821, Congress appropriated money for the construction of a lighthouse at Cape May Point, and that lighthouse was completed in October, 1823. The Lighthouse and Lake Lily are located at: County Route 629 and Lehigh Avenue Cape May Point, NJ … ABOUT | CONTACT US | LEADERSHIP | MEDIA  | READ OUR BLOG | ADVERTISE WITH US | ADA ACCESSIBILITY | PRIVACY POLICY, 1048 WASHINGTON ST. The exact locations of the first two lighthouses are now underwater due to erosion. In 1933, the lighthouse became automated with the use of electricity. https://capemaywhalewatcher.com/a-brief-history-of-the-cape-may-lighthouses The 157-foot tall structure is actually the third lighthouse built in Cape May. After some 25 years, beach erosion put the tower in water at high tide. [1] The exact locations of the first two lighthouses are now underwater due to erosion. [6], The lighthouse is owned by the state of New Jersey after ownership was transferred from the Coast Guard in 1992, which maintains it as an active aid to maritime navigation. It is the third fully documented lighthouse to be built at Cape May Point. In December, 1986, through special agreement with both the Coast Guard and the State of New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, the Cape May Lighthouse was leased to Cape May MAC (Museums + Arts + Culture). There are 217 steps from the ground to the top, with 199 steps in the tower's cast iron spiral staircase. The Cape May Lighthouse, built in 1859. The goal for participants of the Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey is to visit (and hopefully climb) all of New Jersey’s maintained lighthouses to share in the joy and beauty of our beloved navigational aids which represent a rich nautical history and stand as a testament to a level of engineering and quality that withstands the test of time. But it's not all about the history. and River Lighthouses, Lightships and their Keepers." Free admission to the activities, separate admission to climb the lighthouse. In 2013, MAC celebrated the 25th anniversary of the opening of the lighthouse to the public for climbs. Whether you choose to climb or stay below, you’ll surely enjoy an awesome experience. Artistic rendering of the first Cape Lookout lighthouse. This lighthouse is owned and operated by the Lighthouse Inn on whose property the tower rises. Kids climb the Lighthouse for FREE! In the 1940's the lens was removed from the tower, eventually it was put on display at the Cape May County Historical Museum in Cape May Court House. The inside wall is a cylinder with 8.5-inch thick walls which support the spiral staircase. Cape May Municipality: Constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1859, the Cape May Lighthouse is the last in a series of lighthouses to occupy this site and is one of the country's oldest lighthouses in continuous operation. By 1847 a new lighthouse was erected on a high bluff, however, due to the encroaching sea and poor building design it was eventually dismantled. Once at the top, you can exit to the watch gallery and enjoy a breathtaking and panoramic view. These lighthouses are not only dotting our shoreline, but also our waterways. The Lighthouse actually has two separate walls. Nearly 100,000 visitors a year now experience a visit to the top of the lighthouse, participating in a century old rite of a visit to the Jersey Shore. The Brandywine Shoal Light is a lighthouse on the north side of the ship channel in Delaware Bay on the east coast of the United States, west of Cape May, Cape May County, New Jersey, United States.It was the site of the first screw-pile lighthouse in the United States. Family friendly activities on the grounds are FREE! The Cape May Lighthouse is located in Cape May Point State Park, Lower Township, New Jersey. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse—the fee is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children. One of three tall seacoast lighthouses in New Jersey (the others being Absecon and Barnegat), the present lighthouse was built in 1859 and marks the entrance to the Delaware Bay. They reported to the Captain and these words did he say - "Cheer up my sailor lads, Its the light on old Cape May. "Our mission is to preserve the history of the Delaware Bay. A non-profit organization headquartered at the Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May, Cape May MAC assumed the responsibility of restoring the lighthouse, interpreting it as a historic site and opening it to the public. The Lighthouse and Lake Lily are located at: County Route 629 and Lehigh Avenue The lives saved by these lighthouses are countless both in history and on a daily basis. The inside wall is a cylinder with 8.5-inch-thick (220 mm) walls which support the spiral staircase. MAC has installed interpretive exhibits about the lighthouse's history, the lives of the former lighthouse … It is said to be the 2nd oldest continually operating lighthouse in the United States. The last keeper of the lighthouse retired in the 1930s. Brandywine Shoal Lighthouse is now owned by the Brandywine Shoal Lighthouse Friends with Director Jeff Stewart at the helm and will be eventually opened to the public for access to this historic light. The lighthouse in what is now Cape May Point State Park has marked the entrance to the Delaware Bay since 1859. It is said to be the 2nd oldest continually operating lighthouse in the United States. Up until a few years ago, some of the foundation of the 1847 tower could be seen on the beach in front of the present lighthouse. Although it was a very windy day, I felt adventurous and decided to visit the historic Cape May Lighthouse. The light is visible 24 miles out to sea and flashes every 15 seconds. There are 217 steps from the ground to the top, with 199 steps in the tower’s cast iron spiral staircase. In 1857, the Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the Cape May Lighthouse and the beacon was first lit on October 31, 1859. Marine Safety The state park offers many amenities for nature lovers and family fun. It was built in 1859 under the supervision of U.S. Army engineer William F. Raynolds, was automated in 1946, and continues operation to this day. The Lighthouse was staffed by keepers who worked for the U.S. Lighthouse Service. [7] MAC has installed interpretive exhibits about the lighthouse's history, the lives of the former lighthouse keepers, and other maritime history of the Jersey Cape for visitors who climb. Each year over 100,000 visitors climb the 199-steps to the top to take in the picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding areas. It was built in 1859 under the supervision of U.S. Army engineer William F. Raynolds, was automated in 1946, and is still operating to this day in Lower Township's Cape May Point State Park. The outside wall is cone-shaped, and is 3 feet 10 inches (1.17 m) thick at the bottom, and 1 foot 6 inches (0.46 m) thick at the top. Cape May MAC supervised the restoration of the lighthouse windows and doors, the addition of safety improvements, the restoration of the oil house which is at the entrance to the lighthouse grounds, the restoration of the lantern roof and windows, the interior walls and staircase, an archaeological investigation that located the original privies and walkways and the restoration of the grounds. The first was built in 1823; the second in 1847. The Cape May Lighthouse is a lighthouse located in the U.S. state of New Jersey at the tip of Cape May, in Lower Township's Cape May Point State Park. The 1st Cape May lighthousewas erected during 1823 and only lasted 24 years as the encroaching surf created foundation problems. Within immediate view are Cape May Cove and Battery 223, a harbor defense battery originally built during World War II. The Cape May Lighthouse generally had one head lighthouse keeper and two assistants. The blame was put on poor construction, maintenance, and just an overall bad job. Posted/Updated by Bryan Penberthy on 2011-03-14.. Dismiss, Copyright 2020 Cape May MAC (Museums + Arts + Culture) | All Rights Reserved |. Free admission to the grounds and activities; Kids climb the Lighthouse FREE with paying adult. Cape May Lighthouse / Lake Lily The Cape May Lighthouse in Cape May Point State Park was built in 1859. The lighthouse is owned by the state of New Jersey after ownership was transferred from the Coast Guard in 1992, which maintains it as an active aid to maritime navigation. "Our mission is to preserve the history of the Delaware Bay. Climb the 199 steps to the top or enjoy the grounds and shop the many unique crafts vendors. Cape May Lighthouse, New Jersey . The Cape May Lighthouse State Park offers great birding and natural area to explore plus, amazing views of the ocean and the Cape May Area! Hereford Inlet Lighthouse 1804. There are 199 steps to the top of the Lighthouse. Cape May Lighthouse, New Jersey CAPE MAY LIGHTLocation: Cape May Point, on the southernmost point of New Jersey and the northern side of the entrance to Delaware Bay.Station established: 1823First Take advantage of the light of the full moon and let it guide you up the 199 stairs to the starry top. The State of New Jersey leases the structure and grounds to the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). The lighthouse has also been re-painted in its original color scheme, in which the tower is a light beige and the lantern is red. The Lighthouse is located in Cape May Point State Park, Lower Township. Cape May Lighthouse, New Jersey CAPE MAY LIGHTLocation: Cape May Point, on the southernmost point of New Jersey and the northern side of the entrance to … Cape May Point State Park. The 2nd Cape May lighthousewas reportedly built during 1847 by local contractors and only lasted 12 years. MAC raises funds for the restoration and upkeep of the structure and opens the lighthouse to the public for climbs to the top. [5], The Cape May Light is located in Lower Township, but is also a point of identity for Cape May Point as it uses the lighthouse as a logo for municipal-owned vehicles. Interested in becoming a vendor? A special note, Cape May Lighthouse is operated as a museum, which you can climb, by the Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. The U.S. Coast Guard continues to operate the light as an active aid to navigation. The outside wall is cone-shaped, and is 3 feet 10 inches thick at the bottom, and 1 foot 6 inches thick at the top. Cape May Lighthouse (Courtesy Coast Guard) The first documented lighthouse to mark the northern entrance to Delaware Bay was a 68 foot tall brick tower with a … Cape May Municipality: Constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1859, the Cape May Lighthouse is the last in a series of lighthouses to occupy this site and is one of the country's oldest lighthouses in continuous operation. Chronology of Coast Guard History Bibliography Collections. There are 199 steps on the spiral staircase. Admission to climb the lighthouse is $8 for adults and $5 for children (ages 3-12). Just shy of 200 steps, climbing the lighthouse at Cape May Point is good exercise and a good history lesson. As the steward of four historic sites and the storyteller of more than 200 years of area history, Cape May MAC is well aware that, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” [1] MAC raises funds for the restoration and upkeep of the structure and opens the lighthouse to the public for climbs to the top. In 1857, the Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the Cape May Lighthouse and the beacon was first lit on October 31, 1859. There are 199 steps to the top of the Lighthouse. A lighthouse’s flash pattern is called its “characteristic;” every lighthouse has its own light characteristic and exterior paint scheme (called a daymark) so that ship captains can tell them apart. The metal gridwork is open, so you cannot climb in heels. It is today a seasonal hotel. It was approximately 68' in height. Walk the 199 steps up to the watch gallery for a panoramic view. CAPE MAY, NJ 08204 Types of vehicles, and rest rooms are available in the crown but... 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