Virtual Lighthouse Challenge: Absecon Lighthouse

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Absecon Lighthouse Virtual Tour

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, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event is mostly virtual. Volunteers at the Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City put together this video tour of the light.

Virtual Tour of Absecon Lighthouse

I visited the Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City during the 2018 challenge. The lighthouse is the tallest in New Jersey at 171 feet. It has 228 steps which I know because I climbed them. Absecon Light is a State Historic Site, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is managed by a non-profit organization.

Absecon Inlet was called Graveyard Inlet due to all the shipwrecks that took place there. Jonathan Pitney, the ‘Father of Atlantic City’, pushed for federal funding for a lighthouse to illuminate the dangerous waters. The beacon was first lit in 1857. In its heyday, the lighthouse was a popular tourist attraction and the keepers did double duty as tour guides.

The light was decommissioned in 1933 and went dark for decades. Today, it shines on Atlantic City every night but is no longer an active navigational aid. The tower and keeper’s house were restored in the late 1990s, though the house was destroyed by fire during the renovation and had to be completely reconstructed.

Lighthouse Challenge posts


Location: 31 S Rhode Island Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Designation: State Historic Site, NRHP

Date designated or established: 9/11/1970 (NHRP)

Date of my visit: 10/20/2018

Absecon Lighthouse