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What is a Lighthouse?

What Lighthouses Look Like

Lighthouse Lights

Lighthouse History

Barnegat Lighthouse

Cape May Lighthouse

East Point Lighthouse

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse

Little Egg Harbor (Tucker's Island)

Miah Maull Shoal

Navesink Light (Twin Lights)

Passaic and Bergen Point Lighthouses

Sandy Hook Lighthouse

Sea Girt Lighthouse



Coloring Book Pages (pdf):

Jaypeg Does the Cape May Lighthouse Windows

Zeero Runs the Lighthouse

Lighthouse History
August 2002

Americans built the first lighthouses in the United States before the American Revolution. The first lighthouse was built in 1716 in Massachusetts. The colonists depended on ships for things like travel, food, and trade.

When the British ruled America, colonies built their own lighthouses. Each colony picked the location, raised the money, and built the lighthouse. Lighthouses were important because they prevented many shipwrecks. After the American Revolution, the federal government took control of building lighthouses.

For the next one hundred years, lighthouses continued to be very important. They helped America grow and develop. Ships could bring supplies from different parts of the country safely and easily.

During World War II, German submarines, called U-boats, came up the coast of New Jersey and into the Delaware Bay. Lighthouses shut off their lights so the U-boats couldn’t see where rocks and sandbars were. This made it harder for them to come near the shore.

Coast Guard officers patrolled beaches and used lighthouses like Barnegat and Sea Girt to keep watch. The Coast Guard officers reported any activity or fighting they saw off the coast.

Today lighthouses still shine as a beacon. There are not as many working lighthouses because fewer are needed. Many lighthouses in New Jersey that do not work are open to the public. For more information, visit the New Jersey Lighthouse Society.

Next: Barnegat Lighthouse


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