Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 278 – Tom Hoffman, Sandy Hook, NJ

Sandy Hook Light Station, photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

The lighthouse that stands at the end of the long spit of land known as Sandy Hook, on the approach to New York Harbor, began service in 1764, making it the oldest standing lighthouse tower in the United States. The octagonal rubblestone tower stands 103 feet tall.

Tom Hoffman

The light remains active, with the Fresnel lens still in place. Ownership was transferred to the National Park Service in 1996, and the lighthouse is now part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. The tower is open seasonally, and there’s a visitor center in the former keepers’ house. In 1964, Sandy Hook became one of the small number of lighthouses designated a National Historic landmark.

Tom Hoffman, our guest today, is the historian for the Gateway National Recreation Area. He’s also the author of the book Fort Hancock, published by Arcadia Publishing. His association with Sandy Hook goes back 50 years.

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