Information on:

Atlantic City - 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


Ian White

Monday, Feb. 26, 2018
Well worth a visit with great views in all directions. It's quite a climb to the chamber that contains the lamp but worth the effort. The visitor centre has very helpful guides and some nice souvenirs as well that are suitable for all ages. The people there are friendly and knowledgeable and pleased to share.

Arthur Avery

Monday, Dec. 18, 2017
Very worthwhile stop with a lot of historical interest! The folks who staff the facility are exceptionally knowledgeable about the lighthouse as well as the general history of the AC area. Very cool to see how alive it was in the days before casinos. Free admission, and only $7 to climb to the top (free for active military) make it a very affordable way to spend 2 hours and come out with smarter and with better cardio at the same time!

Cindy Barton

Friday, March 16, 2018
90 year old Buddy greets you at the top on Fridays and he is a treasure and living history resource! Nice break from the glitz of the AC casino scene!

Buddy Grover

Monday, Feb. 12, 2018
I visit Absecon Lighthouse every Friday and other days when needed - I am one of the several volunteers and the 'ghost-in-training.'

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

Absecon Lighthouse is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media