By: Savannah Scarborough, Follow South Jersey Intern
BARNEGAT, N.J. – A year of renovation and $1.3 million later, the Barnegat Lighthouse reopened on Saturday, June 10, for visitors to climb or tour the scenic structure.
The Barnegat Lighthouse, a prominent destination along the Jersey shore and listed on the New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places, was constructed in 1856. The lighthouse is one of the most crucial “change of course” points for the coast and ships extending from the shoreline due to its location on the northern tip of Long Beach Island in Ocean County.
The Barnegat Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1927 and remained dark until 2009. It was only when the Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse donated the previous light, which was activated on January 1, 2009, just 150 years after the structure’s original lighting in 1859, that the lighthouse was beaming again.
Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to education and improvement of the lighthouse and the state park,” according to their website. Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse raise and receive funds to “enhance natural habitats, buildings, and properties to encourage the protection of the barrier island ecosystem.” To become a member, visit http://www.friendsofbarnegatlighthouse.org/Become_A_Member.html.
Again, in 2022, the Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse donated a new beacon light for the reconstructed lighthouse and new security fencing and security cameras. The new shining light can be seen brightly for 26.5 miles and was lit on October 29, 2022.
With its new beacon light, according to the New Jersey of Environmental Protection, the structure underwent a complete exterior makeover, masonry recoating and repairs to the brick facade, interior lantern steel platform, roof repairs, interior painting, and new windows.
Once only seen by those who committed to climbing the lighthouse, the new cameras, thanks to Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse, installed on top of the lighthouse, are now connected to a monitor in the park’s interpretive center, providing an ADA-accessible view. Soon, there will be a live feed of this view on the State Park Service’s website.
The lighthouse will be open daily from 9 am to 3 pm through Labor Day. To learn more about New Jersey’s Parks, Forests, and Historic Sites, visit https://nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/ or their Facebook page or Instagram here.
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