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Every October the NJ Lighthouse Society runs the Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey in order to raise funds for the state’s historic lighthouses and maritime sites. This year, we purchased an incomplete commemorative deck of cards at our starting point and then tried to complete the deck by collecting cards at each of the participating locations. There were 13 sites included in the challenge this year and I got to 5 of them on the Saturday of the challenge.
My last stop of the day was the Sea Girt Light. The 40-mile stretch of coast between Barnegat and Navesink was unlit in the 1800s and so Sea Girt was commissioned by the Lighthouse Board in 1888. Completed in 1896, it was the last lighthouse with an integrated keeper’s residence to be built on the East Coast.
In 1921, Sea Girt became the first lighthouse to be equipped with a radio beacon, furthering its usefulness as a navigational aid.
The light was deactivated during World War II and became a dormitory for the Coast Guard.
After the war, the federal government put the lighthouse up for sale. The Borough of Sea Girt purchased the property and used it for the town library and recreation center.
In 1981, the building was in need of repairs and the borough considered selling it. Concerned residents formed the Sea Girt Lighthouse Citizens Committee, an independent non-profit dedicated to restoring and maintaining the lighthouse.
The committee restored the lighthouse through private fundraising. They lease it from the town and conduct tours on Sundays from Easter through Thanksgiving and open the lighthouse for special events like the annual Lighthouse Challenge.
Lighthouse Challenge and related posts:
- Sandy Hook Lighthouse
- Navesink Twin Lights
- Absecon Lighthouse
- Tuckerton Seaport
- Barnegat Lighthouse
- Barnegat Maritime Forest Trail
- Barnegat Museum
- Sea Girt Lighthouse
Location: 9 Ocean Ave, Sea Girt, NJ 08750
Date designated or established: 1981
Date of my visit: 10/20/2018