Digest>Archives> March 2009

Old Barney Relit

By Timothy Harrison


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Barnegat Lighthouse, New Jersey, shortly before ...
Photo by: Judi Kearney

The bitter cold weather and gusty winds did not stop the thousands of people who showed up to witness the historic relighting of New Jersey's famous Barnegat Lighthouse, which is known more affectionately as Old Barney.

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As the sun sets, turning a cold afternoon, into ...
Photo by: Judi Kearney

A bundled up and enthusiastic crowd of thousands who did not let the bitter cold weather and gusty winds deter them, showed up to witness historic relighting of New Jerseys Barnegat Lighthouse.

However, many of the true lighthouse aficionados that were on hand to witness event, although happy that 'Old Barney,' as the lighthouse is affectionately known, was again showing a light from its lantern room, were disappointed by the lights apparent low intensity. However, this in not an uncommon complaint, especially with the modern lights that are being installed at lighthouse around the United States. However, in the case of Barnegat, while it may show only a pencil beam of light, it can, in fact, be seen 21 miles out to sea.

Although the new light may not give off the bright large beam of light that most people envisioned they would see, and as are depicted in old photos and stories, the Friends are to be commended for spearheading the effort to bring history back to life at the old previously darkened tower where it takes 217 steps to reach the top.

The new Vega VRB-25 light installed at Barnegat Light weighs only 42 pounds, compared to the 3 ton Fresnel lens that was once in the tower.

Angelo Rinaldi, president of the Friends group said in one newspaper interview, "When the United States was a seafaring country, and you needed lighthouses. Today, you don't need them. People think of lighthouses more as a beacon of hope, a sign of the past.

The light was installed by the Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, thanks to a $15,000 donation from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge.

This story appeared in the March 2009 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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