Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2022

Absecon Lighthouse – The Old and the New


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On July 11, 1933 a new beacon atop a skeletal tower on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey officially replaced that city’s 171-foot-tall Absecon Lighthouse that was first lighted on January 15, 1857.

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This original press photo, in the archives of Lighthouse Digest, was published on June 24, 1938 and ran with the following caption: “The Old and New in Lighthouses – Photographs show the old Atlantic City Lighthouse built on the beach in 1857 and the new lighthouse which recently went into service. Changing tides built up the beach at the famous resort until the old lighthouse now stands back in the heart of a residential section. Skyscraper beach front hotels cut off its beam and it was decommissioned. The new structure takes its place.”

After the Absecon Lighthouse was decommissioned, the Coast Guard announced plans to demolish it, but Atlantic City officials stepped forward to take ownership of the tower. In 1966, the city sold the lighthouse to the State of New Jersey. Today, the lighthouse is open to the public and people can climb to the top and view the magnificent 1st order Fresnel lens. The replica keeper’s quarters is home to a museum and gift shop.

Shortly after this newspaper photo was published, an enterprising firm duplicated the photograph and made the colorized post card shown below.

This story appeared in the May/Jun 2022 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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