Barnegat Light in Barnegat Light

Photo of Barnegat Light in Barnegat Light, New Jersey
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
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Barnegat Light

Barnegat Light State Park, Barnegat Light, New Jersey, Ocean County 08006
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Around the world lighthouses are disappearing at an alarming rate. Advances in GPS positioning, radar, and sonar have made them just about obsolete in most developed nations. They are rapidly changing from essential maritime tools to quaint pieces of nostalgia. Hundreds have fallen into disrepair, many into the sea. Barnegat Light is an exception. It was preserved by the State of New Jersey after its deactivation in 1944. The 172-foot red and white tower sits at the north end of Long Beach Island and is a popular destination for Jersey shore visitors. This is actually the second Barnegat light. The original one, built from 1834 to 1835 was 40-feet tall and made of brick. It fell into the ocean in 1857. Also gone are the original keeper's quarters. They were a set of cottages built in 1889, but destroyed in 1915. By 1927 the lighthouse was deemed inadequate, and the Barnegat Lightship was anchored eight miles offshore. Barnegat Light's intensity was dimmed as it stood guard over Barnegat Inlet. It briefly gained importance again during the second World War as a lookout post for German submarines. After the war, the light was extinguished and the lightship took over full time until electronic navigation made it obsolete in 1965.

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