The Hereford Inlet lighthouse is in the town of North Wildwood, New Jersey; just north of the Cape May Lighthouse. This area was originally named Angelsea. Native Americans were the first to use the Hereford Inlet. In 1680, the first Europeans used the inlet for fishing. Entering the Hereford Inlet is quite tricky, much like navigating around Sandy Hook. Due to the increase in use of the inlet, there were increased shipwrecks.
In 1871, Congress apportioned $25,000.00 for a 4th order lens in 1874, which was lit for the first time on May 11th. The focal plane of the light is 57.5 feet above sea leve and has a visibility of 13 nautical miles. The tower has both a watch room and a shop room for repairing and maintaining the light. Originally, the light was a fixed white light.
The lighthouse was originally 150 feet east of the current location. In August of 1913, a storm damaged the foundation and forced the lighthouse to be moved to where it sits today. In 1964, the house was shut down, due to the automation of the light. At that time, the house was boarded up and used as storage. On September, 22, 1982, the house was turned over to North Wildwood, and on July 10, 1983, the house was reopened. The orginal lens was moved to the first floor, and the automated beacon was left in the tower where it still resides. Unique to the house are its four fireplaces.
The lighthouse is an active aid to navigation; with the light maintained by the Coast Gaurd and the building maintained by the Hereford Lighthouse Commission.