Navesink Lighthouse


Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Twin lights is one of my favorite lighthouses, maybe because it is practically in my back yard. The ability to go there whenever I want is a great feeling. Unique to Twin Lights are the two towers, only the north of which is open to climb.

In 1746, militiamen used signal fires from the top of the hill to signal invasion of pirates or of foreign privateers. In 1828, the original two towers were built of rubble, and by 1841 the south tower housed the first Fresnel Lens. The present lighthouse was built the federal government in 1882 at a cost of $74,000. In 1883, the north tower became the first first-order lighthouse to use mineral oil, which had a power of 10,000 candlepower. 1898 saw the largest lighthouse lens fitted into the south tower. It was also the first light to be electric, with electricity being drawn from the lighthouse's own electric building. The "hyper radiant" bivalve lens threw off 60,000,000 candlepower. This light was replaced with an incandescent kerosene vapor lamp in 1917. The lens in the south tower was removed in 1951 to visit the Boston Museum of Science. It was returned on March 1, 1979.

In 1954 the lighthouse was turned over to the Borough of Highlands by the United States Coast Guard. The lighthouse is now listed on both the state and National Register of Historic Places.

The north tower now has a 6th order Fresnel lens from paris, manufactured in 1881.

Also on the premises is a collection of life saving gear from the Spermaceti Cove Lifesaving Station, which used to be housed on Spermiceti Cove, Sandy Hook. This life saving station was one of the first to be built which would house apparatus for the rescue of shipwrecks. To the north of the northern tower is Marconi's first wireless telegraph tower, built in 1899.

Directions: take Route 36, south from the Garden State Parkway. Just before crossing the Highlands Bridge, make a right and follow signs to the top of the hill. Be careful ascending the drive way as the hill is steep and the path narrow.