The picture at the right shows the newly refurbished Absecon Lighthouse with the just recently destroyed keepers house. The keepers house was burned in a suspicious fire the weekend of July 4th, 1998. The colors in the picture are not the orginal colors, but were the colors from 1925 to 1933.
Construction began on the lighthouse in 1855 and the light was first lit in 1857. George Meade was the builder of the light, which is a sister light to Cape May and Barnaget. In the early 20th century, the lighthouse was listed as the most visited lighthouse in lighthouse history; possibly due to the fact it is so close to the boardwalk in Atlantic City. The name was given to the lighthouse because it sits on Absecon Island, just to the east and across the bay from the town of Absecon. The light guards the water on the Atlantic Ocean and the Absecon Inlet. Where the two meet are found some very tricky shoals, the cause of many wrecks before the ligtht. Absecon Island at one time was an Indian Hunting ground.
The lantern room houses a gigantic 1st order Fresnel lens, that weighs 5 tons. The light, which currently is not on, first received electricity in 1925. Besides for one bronze endcap, all 249 prisims are original to the lens which was fabricated in 1854. The lens had never been removed prior to the lighthouse's refurbishment. Absecon Lighthouse was officially decommisioned in 1963.
228 steps will take you to the top of the 178 foot tower. There, you will see gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Absecon Inlet, and a panoramic view of northern Atlantic City. The lighthouse is structurally the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey.
Directions: take route 87 (Brigantine Blvd) or Route 30 (Absecon Blvd) into Atlantic City. Make a right onto Virginia, a left onto Atlantic and follow Atlantic to Rhode Island. The lighthouse sits between Rhode Island and Vermont.
Additional information was provided by Sara Cureton at her slide show of the renovation at the Fall meeting of the New Jersey Lighthouse Society.