“While the era of lighthouse keepers ended in 1988 with the automation of Ambrose Tower at Sandy Hook, the lights and their stories live on in Sentinels of the Shore.

— The New York Times

Of the Shore

A Guide to Lighthouses and Lightships
of New Jersey

By Bill Gately


— The Asbury Park Press

71 pps, 40 full-color photos,full color fold-out locator map, biblio.,
5"x9" hardcover
ISBN 0-945582-37-4


When people think of New Jersey’s lighthouses, most think of a famous few — Barnegat, Sandy Hook, Twin Lights, and Cape May. But did you know that from New York Harbor, down along the coast to Cape May and up the Delaware Bay, the total number of lightstations, past and present, is 49? Surprisingly, 26 New Jersey lighthouses remain standing today.

This comprehensive full-color hardcover guide includes all of the present and former lighthouses and lightships that are part of the state’s maritime history. This book provides historical information as well as stories of the keepers and notable achievements, and includes 40 full-color photographs. Directions and locations for visitors are provided. The book also includes a thorough lighthouse bibliography and color fold-out map of all past and present New Jersey lightstations, and can be easily slipped into a large pocket or backpack.

(Lighthouse lovers may also want to adorn their wall with our popular New Jersey Lighthouse Calendar)


"The full-color photographs by the author are beautiful, and the book is filled with many interesting nuggets of information about lighthouse history and technology, enough to make you an expert of lighthouse trivia."

— The Beachcomber, Long Beach Island

Some of the notable achievements recorded in Sentinels of the Shore include:

• Twin Lights of Navesink was the first U.S. light to have a Fresnel lens — an innovation as revolutionary in its era as the computer is today — and was the first major lighthouse to use electricity. At the turn of the century, Twin Lights was considered the best lighthouse in the country.

• One of the first women lightkeepers, Kate Walker, operated Robbin’s Reef Lighthouse off Bayonne for 33 years and is credited with saving at least 50 lives. Robbin’s Reef is nicknamed "Katie’s Light" in her honor.

• Three of the state’s lighthouses — Barnegat, Absecon, and Cape May — were designed by one of the Civil War’s most renowned heroes.

• Sandy Hook Lighthouse, built in 1764, holds the distinction of being the oldest operating lighthouse in the United States. Except for when it was darkened during the war with Spain in 1898 and again during World War II, it has served continuously for 232 years.

Box 100, West Creek, NJ 08092
e-mail downshore@gmail.com • (609) 812-5076 fax (609) 812-5098

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