NRHP: Museum at Barnegat Light

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Welcome back to National Parks with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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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.

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About midway through my day, I arrived at Barnegat Light State Park where I climbed to the top of old Barney and walked the Maritime Forest loop. A few blocks away is the Barnegat Light Museum, operated by the Barnegat Light Historical Society. The museum was a designated stop on the challenge, so I headed over there to take a look.

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The museum is housed in the old one-room schoolhouse from 1903. It served as the town’s school until 1951 and was converted into a museum in 1954. It showcases the light’s original first-order Fresnel lens, as well as other lighthouse related exhibits.

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The schoolhouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The grounds are maintained by the local garden club.

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Lighthouse Challenge and related posts:

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Location: 208 Broadway, Barnegat Light, NJ 08006

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designated or established: June 6, 1976

Date of my visit: 10/20/2018

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Barnegat Lighthouse State Park: Maritime Forest Trail

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Happy Blogiversary to National Parks with T! It’s been a year since I first started this blog. Many thanks to those who have come along for the journey!

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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.

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After climbing to the top of Barnegat Lighthouse, I decided to walk the quarter-mile Maritime Forest Trail behind the visitor center. Most people were in the visitors center, by the lighthouse or out on the jetty so I was able to take a peaceful, leisurely stroll on the sandy trail.

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A maritime forest grows on the dunes farthest from the shore and consists of trees, bushes and plants adapted to the salty environment. Many of the trees here are fruit bearing and so provide a bountiful home for birds and other critters.

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Maritime forests once covered the length of the Jersey Shore, but most were lost to agricultural or recreational development. In Barnegat State Park, there were 30 acres of forests, but erosion has washed away all but two acres. The short loop winds through this remnant with placards identifying the flora along the way.

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View of the Maritime Forest remnant from the top of Barnegat Light. The Visitor Center is the rectangular building at lower left. You can see the loop trail extending behind it into the trees.

Lighthouse Challenge and related posts:

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Location: 208 Broadway, Barnegat Light, NJ 08006

Designation: State Park

Date designated or established: January 1944

Date of my visit: 10/20/2018

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Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

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Welcome back to National Parks with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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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.

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After visiting Absecon in Atlantic City and then Tuckerton Seaport, I headed out to the northern end of Long Beach Island and Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. This historic lighthouse is a sister to the Cape May and Absecon lights and is similar in design.

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In 1835 a 40-foot-tall lighthouse was erected in this spot, but its small stature and non-flashing light was inadequate. In 1859, ‘Old Barney’ replaced this older light, which had fallen into the sea.

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Jetties have been built around the lighthouse to prevent the further erosion of the island. There were several people fishing from the jetty when I was there.

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When completed, Barnegat Light stood 172 feet above sea level, four times taller than the original. The new light was a first-order flashing Fresnel lens.

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The light became obsolete and was deactivated  in January 1944 and given to the State of New Jersey. The Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, a local non-profit organization, campaigned to reactivate the lighthouse.

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A new, more modern light was installed and was lit on Barnegat Light’s 150th anniversary in 2009. It now shines daily from dusk until dawn. The original Fresnel lens is on display at the Barnegat Light museum around the corner.

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After going to the adjacent visitor center, I climbed the 217 steps to the top of the lighthouse and was treated to spectacular views of nearby Island Beach State Park and the more commercial Long Beach Island.

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Lighthouse Challenge and related posts:

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Location: 208 Broadway, Barnegat Light, NJ 08006

Designation: State Park, NRHP

Date designated or established: 1957 (State Park), 1/25/1971 (NRHP)

Date of my visit: 10/20/2018