Sandy Hook Light

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Sandy Hook Light
Sandy Hook Lighthouse (New Jersey).jpg
Sandy Hook Lighthouse (2018)
Sandy Hook Light is located in Monmouth County, New Jersey
Sandy Hook Light
Sandy Hook Light is located in New Jersey
Sandy Hook Light
Sandy Hook Light is located in the United States
Sandy Hook Light
LocationSandy Hook, New Jersey
Coordinates40°27′42″N 74°00′07″W / 40.46167°N 74.00194°W / 40.46167; -74.00194Coordinates: 40°27′42″N 74°00′07″W / 40.46167°N 74.00194°W / 40.46167; -74.00194
Year first constructedJune 11, 1764
Tower shapeOctagonal
Tower height103 feet (31 m)
Original lens3rd order Fresnel lens
Range19 nautical miles (35 km; 22 mi)
CharacteristicFixed white lighted throughout 24 hours
HeritageNational Historic Landmark, place listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata
Sandy Hook Light
NRHP reference #66000468[1]
NJRHP #2029[2]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966
Designated NHLJanuary 29, 1964[3]
Designated NJRHPMay 27, 1971

The Sandy Hook Lighthouse, located about one and a half statute miles (2.4 km) inland from the tip of Sandy Hook, New Jersey, is the oldest working lighthouse in the United States.[4] It was designed and built on June 11, 1764 by Isaac Conro. At that time, it stood only 500 feet (150 metres) from the tip of Sandy Hook; however, today, due to growth caused by littoral drift, it is almost one and a half miles (2.4 km) inland from the tip.


The light was built to aid mariners entering the southern end of the New York Harbor. It was originally called New York Lighthouse because it was funded through a New York Assembly lottery and a tax on all ships entering the Port of New York. The lighthouse has endured an attempt to destroy it as an aid to British navigation by Benjamin Tupper,[5] and a subsequent occupancy of British soldiers during the Revolutionary War.

Almost two years after the State of New York ratified the U.S. Constitution, the lighthouse was transferred to federal authority. George Washington wrote to the Senate on April 5, 1790, "I have directed my private secretary to lay before you copies of three acts of the legislature of New York ... An act for vesting in the United States of America the light-house and the lands thereunto belonging at Sandy Hook".[6] The lighthouse is located on the grounds of Fort Hancock.

In 1990, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 25 cent stamp featuring the Sandy Hook Lighthouse.[7]


Sandy Hook Lighthouse, which was restored in spring 2000, is part of the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area administered by the National Park Service. Seven days a week, National Park Service Park Rangers offer free tours every half hour from 1:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. The view from the top includes the Atlantic Ocean, Sandy Hook Bay and the New York City skyline.

In popular culture[edit]

  • On September 18, 2009 the Sandy Hook Light was filmed as a fictional backdrop for final episode of the longest running soap opera Guiding Light.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Monmouth County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Historic Preservation Office. March 1, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 2, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  3. ^ "Sandy Hook Light". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
  4. ^ "Oldest Lighthouse in the United States". July 12, 2007.
  5. ^ Sandy Hook Lighthouse, New Jersey at
  6. ^ A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents. Bureau of National Literature, Inc. Vol.1, p.67
  7. ^ "Stamp Series". United States Postal Service. Archived from the original on 2013-08-10. Retrieved Sep 2, 2013.

External links[edit]