Absecon Lighthouse

31 South Rhode Island Avenue

In this area of the site I would like to detail some of the events and history that lead to the construction of the lighthouse. In these modern times it is easy to take for granted the steps in technology that made the inlet and local area the safe navigable waterway it is today.

Dr. Jonathan Pitney, later called the "Father of Atlantic City," was concerned about the loss of ships and lives along Absecon Beach. Earning the area the nickname of "the Graveyard Inlet." The schooners LOUISA, Ann, Nile, DUROC and other ships - George Cannon, Frankfort and Gherge's Kahn were among the scores of vessels that met their fates on the shores between the Great and Little Egg Harbors. The lighthouse was determined to be necessary to protect the ships from the dangerous Absecon Shoals.

In 1854, based on promptings by Pitney, the U.S. Lighthouse Service requested and received an appropriation from Congress in the amount of $35,000 for a lighthouse on Absecon Island. The land was obtained and construction began in 1855 under the direction of Major Hartman Bache who was later replaced by Lieutenant (future General) George Meade. In 1856 an additional $17,000 was appropriated and the work was completed at the end of 1856 under the direction of Lt. Col. William Reynolds. The final cost was $52,187.

In the first ten months of operation, the lighthouse proved its worth -- not a single ship was wrecked


Erica Johnson

Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017

Had a great time here! So many stairs! But great views. Awesome man at the top giving the history. Tons of fun, would recommend paying a visit here! Would go again

Sanjay Gupta

Saturday, Sep. 23, 2017

“228 steps... 170+ feet...awesome view up there of Atlantic city” this lighthouse is third tallest in USA and tallest in NJ offer you to climb 228 steps. its awesome view up there covering Atlantic city shore. Milton (Lighthouse keeper) will welcome you by offering card and that's sweet. He told us all about the lighthouse and its history. Staffs are really helpful and warm. steps are broad comparing to others. It is 5-6 block near to boardwalk. What I find amazing is street name of streets nearby, which are named after USA's states name. This lighthouse is situated at Rhode Island avenue. Try to take the picture from house side, it's beautiful

Shannon Basile

Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017

We went there July 2016 and it was a challenge going up the steps, but my 6 year old could do it. The gentleman at the top was so informative and sweet. Great views from the top. July 2017 we took our now 7 year old for the activities they have for the children. My daughter loved it. She wants to go again next year.

Doreen Fontana

Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017

Thoroughly enjoyed our chat with Milton (Director of Education) at the top! Nice way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Glad to partake in historical recreation.

Dawn Wiggins

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017

Really friendly staff. The stairs are well lit, and it is an easy walk to the top with 6 landings to rest at along the way. 360 degree views from the top.