Home Maps Resources Calendar About
Resources Calendar About
Sandy Hook East Beacon, NJ  Lighthouse destroyed.   

Select a photograph to view a photo gallery

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

See our full List of Lighthouses in New Jersey

Sandy Hook East Beacon Lighthouse

1867 – East beacon, Sandy Hook.—New frame building with light on keeper's dwelling has been erected near the northeast point of the Hook, in place of the old East beacon. A powerful fog-signal will be substituted for the bell now in use, as soon as the most effective fog-signal shall have been determined.

1868 – East beacon, Sandy Hook.—The new buildings at this station were completed and the light exhibited from them on the 1st of April last. On the 16th June they caught fire from the smoke stack of the engine house and were consumed; the apparatus and fog-signal were saved, though the latter was in a somewhat damaged condition. The buildings were entirely reconstructed upon the original plan, with slight modification noted below, within thirteen weeks after their destruction.
The fog-signal at this station is a siren, operated by taking the steam directly from a 15 horse-power boiler. The damage to the signal by the fire referred to has been repaired, and in the reconstruction of the station, the buildings covering it have been detached from the others, and greater security against fire obtained at the point where the smoke stack passes through the roof.

1869 – East Beacon, Sandy Hook.—During the gale of September 8th, 1869, the north point of Sandy Hook was washed away to an extent which may ultimately render the removal of the beacon necessary. Protection to the point, to prevent further washing, would be very expensive and of doubtful results. The present fog-signal at this point is in good condition, and has been run without difficulty by the present keeper. It is a very important aid to navigation during fogs and snow-storms, and no efforts will be spared to keep it in good working order.

1870 – Sandy Hook, east beacon, entrance to New York Bay.—The effect of the heavy gales of last winter upon the north point of Sandy Hook, on which this beacon is located, was such that the removal became necessary. The whole building was moved 500 feet south, retaining its former range with the main light. It was placed on oak piles, and is now considered out of danger. The fog signal at this station is in good condition, and gives general satisfaction, it is to be feared that the tubes of the boiler may give out at any time; should this happen, this most important station would be without a fog signal until new tubes could be inserted. A station of such importance to navigation as Sandy Hook ought to have two complete fog signals, for the same reason as two, and in some cases three sets of lamps are furnished to light-houses, and an appropriation is asked therefor of $5,000 for this purpose

1871 – East Beacon, Sandy Hook.—A new first class steam (syren) Fog signal, with horizontal boiler, has been substituted for the old one with vertical boiler, the tubes of which were destroyed by corrosion. A duplicate steam Fog-signal, authorized by the appropriation of March 3,1871, is in course of construction, and will be put up as soon as completed.
A new frame building has been erected for the new Fog-signal. The old building has been moved to the vicinity of the new one, and has been renovated to receive the duplicate signal.
A well has been dug and walled, which furnishes fresh water for the boilers of the signal. The keeper's dwelling requires repainting inside and outside, which will be done at an early period.
In the previous annual report reference was made to the abrasion of the beach, which rendered it necessary to remove the beacon building five hundred feet to the southward. The abrasion does not seem to be of a threatening character at this time, but no doubt is entertained that upon the completion of the jetties, recently commenced by the Engineer Department for the protection of the beach in front of the fort from abrasion, the accumulation of sand will be arrested, and abrasion will most likely result in the vicinity of the beacon and the new Fog-signal structures. It is hence deemed imperative to guard against such a contingency by the construction of two jetties similar to those adopted by the Engineer Department. The cost of such protection is estimated at $20,000.
It may be well to state that a further removal of the beacon and the Fog-signal to the southward is impossible, as they would, if so removed, be masked by the works of defense seaward or in the direction the sound from the signal is especially needed.

1872 – East Beacon, Sandy Hook, New Jersey.—The abrasion of the beach at this station is increasing; since the last annual report was submitted the abrasion has been about 80 feet. This increase was anticipated, as will be seen by the report referred to, and is due to the erection of the jettees for its protection near the fort, which cut off the supply of sand from the eastward. It is necessary that recourse be had to similar works to protect the lighthouse property, for which the estimate rendered last year of $20,000 is renewed.

1873 – East Beacon, Sandy Hook, New Jersey.—The abrasion of the beach threatened the destruction of the dwelling and tower. The encroachment of the sea was so rapid that the removal of the building was out of the question. Resort was then had to brush jettees, one of which was built on each side of the building: the result proved favorable; the accumulation of sand being very rapid in the vicinity of the building, but the abrasion continued to the westward. Under the appropriation of $20,000 for this protection, jettees of brush have been commenced, and three are in progress; a fourth will be commenced. The accumulation of sand increases with the progress of the work on the jettees. The number of hours of fog at this station during the year was 539 3/4; during which the signal, a syren, was in operation.

1874 – East beacon, Sandy Hook, New Jersey.—The several brush jetties built for protecting this station from the encroachment of the sea, which at one time threatened its destruction, have proved very beneficial in arresting and collecting the sand.

1875 – East Beacon, Sandy Hook, New Jersey.—The brush jetties for protecting the beach and station from the encroachments of the sea have fulfilled in a great measure the purpose intended. It is found that a more secure method of fortifying the ends is necessary by means of a few piles. A siren of improved pattern was purchased during the year and put up at this station. The number of hours during which the signal was in operation was 531.

1876 – Sandy Hook, east beacon, entrance to New York Bay, New Jersey.— First-class steam-siren, in duplicate, and in separate houses. On the 15th of June, the northernmost of the engine-houses was entirely destroyed by fire, the siren and the iron fittings being badly damaged; materials were sent to the station and a new building, of brick, commenced. The damaged machinery was taken to the depot at Staten Island, and is being repaired and put in readiness for re-erection as soon as the new building is completed, which will be at the earliest practicable moment.

1876 – East Beacon, Sandy Hook, New Jersey.—The work upon the jetties for protecting the beach against the abrasion of the sea was continued through the month of October, 1875, at which time they were left in excellent condition. The expectations as to their utility have been fully realized. Some repairs required during the present season will be defrayed from existing appropriations.

1877 – Sandy Hook, East Beacon, entrance to New York Bay, New Jersey.—First-class steam-siren, in duplicate. The engine-house, destroyed last year by fire, has been replaced by a substantial brick structure, and the injured engine and boiler thoroughly repaired and renovated. In operation 752 hours during the year.

1877 – East Beacon, Sandy Hook, entrance to New York Harbor, New York.—Considerable damage to the fog-signal engine and boiler was sustained by fire, which destroyed the building last summer. The burned building has since been replaced by a substantial brick structure. The boiler and engine were entirely overhauled and refitted, and the station put in thorough order. The jetties for the protection of the beach were strengthened during October and November.

1878 – East Beacon, Sandy Hook, New Jersey.—The work done at this station during the year has been important. The fog-signal boilers have been repaired and improved fittings added. The dwelling-house roof, which has leaked for a long time, has been reshingled. During the severe storms of the past winter and spring, the jetties were damaged by the washing out of much brush and stone. The protection-works to the eastward of the light-house were also injured to some extent, and in the latter part of spring, during an unusually high tide and storm, the station was threatened with destruction, the water rising to the floor-beams of the dwelling and tower, and approaching quite near to the fog-signal buildings. As an immediate precaution against further damage, a triangular breakwater 204 feet long was erected along the beach in front of the station, extending from the dwelling to a point opposite the fog-signal house. The breakwater is composed of triangular frames, 9 feet at base, the sea-slope 10 feet, and the interior sloop 8 feet, placed 6 feet apart. The slopes are sheathed with 3-inch planking. But the most permanent system of protection against the sea encroachments at this point yet devised is that of the jetties, and an appropriation of $5,000 for perfecting this system at Sandy Hook is needed.

1879 – Sandy Hook East Beacon, New Jersey.—First-class steam-sirens, in duplicate, and in separate houses. The boilers of the signals at this station do not work remarkably well and it is evident that one, or it may be both of them, will need renewing before long.

1880 – Sandy Hook East Beacon, entrance to New York Bay, New Jersey. The light was removed to a cast-iron tower placed on the site and situated 375 feet from the light on March 15, 1880.

1880 – Sandy Hook East Beacon, New Jersey.—First-class steam sirens. The signal is in fair working condition.

1882 – East Beacon, Sandy Hook, New Jersey.—First-class steam siren, in duplicate, with duplicate engines and boilers. The houses for the fog-signal boilers need renovation. The boilers, which are much worn, will be replaced by new ones now on hand.

1883 – East Beacon, Sandy Hook, on north point of Sandy Hook, New Jersey.—First-class steam-siren, in duplicate, with duplicate engines and boilers. The house over the boilers and one of the sirens will require renovation next year.

1884 – East Beacon (Hook), on north point of Sandy Hook, New Jersey.— First class steam siren in duplicate. A new fog-signal house and coal shed were built, and a new siren signal, boiler, &c, were set up. The old sirens were repaired and put in readiness to take the places of the new ones in case of injury to them.

1884 – East Beacon (Hook), on north point of Sandy Hook, New Jersey.— The encroachments of the sea on this site were quite serious; arrangements were therefore made under which $7,500 of light-house funds were expended for material to be used under the direction of the engineer officer of the Army, in connection with the steps taken by the War Department for protecting the sites of the fortifications at Sandy Hook, adjoining the light-house property. The means employed are jetties, situated at proper distances apart, to collect and hold the sand.

1886 – East beacon (Hook), New Jersey.—These first-class steam-sirens, in duplicate, were in operation 874 ˝ hours.

1887 – East Beacon, Sandy Hook, New Jersey.—First-class steam-siren; was in operation during the year about 871 hours.

1888 – East Beacon Sandy Hook, New Jersey.—First-class steam siren, in duplicate; was in operation about 823 hours, and consumed 123,100 pounds of coal.

1888 – Sandy Hook, East Beacon, entrance to New York Bay, New Jersey.—A red cut will be placed in this light to warn vessels against anchoring at night where the electric cables are laid to light the buoys in Gedney's Channel.

1889 – Sandy Hook, entrance to New York Bay, New Jersey—During the hurricane of September, 1889, the fog-signal house was endangered. It is feared that another storm will undermine the foundations and overthrow the building. It is considered necessary to remove the fog-signal to a safer location. A new site can be bought, a new building can be erected thereon, such of the machinery as is in good condition can be transferred to it and such additional machinery as is needed can be bought, it is estimated, for $8,000. Recommendation is made that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.

1893 – Hook Beacon, Sandy Hook, New Jersey.—The automatic siren, in duplicate, was in operation about 773 hours during the year and consumed some 86 ˝ tons of coal.

1897 – North Hook beacon, Sandy Hook, New Jersey.—The first-class automatic steam siren, in duplicate, was in operation some 846 hours during the year, and consumed about 63 tons of coal.

1903 – North Hook beacon, Sandy Hook, New Jersey.—This first-class automatic siren, in duplicate, was in operation about 779 hours and consumed some 62 tons of coal.

1914 – Sandy Hook, N. J., aids to navigation.—For improving the aids to navigation at Sandy Hook, N. J., $20,000.
Note.—North Hook Beacon Light and Fog Signal, N.J.., are at present so located in front of the batteries at Fort Hancock, Sandy Hook, N. J., as to interfere very seriously with the gun fire of several of the batteries, and absolutely prohibits the training of the guns on the ranges covering the entrances to New York Harbor. The matter has been carefully investigated by representatives of the War Department and of the Lighthouse Service, and the views of maritime interests obtained relative to the best methods of making the necessary changes. It is recommended that the keepers' quarters, light, and fog signal be moved to a new location out of range of the batteries. Detailed estimate:
Moving and raising light, with new foundation $7,000
Building new fog-signal house and moving engines 5,000
Moving, relocating, and repairing three keepers' dwellings 6,000
Contingencies 2,000
Total 20,000

1915 – Sandy Hook, N. J., aids to navigation.—For improving the aids to navigation at Sandy Hook, N. J., $20,000.
Note.—The act of March 3, 1915 (38 Stat., 926), authorized this work, but no appropriation was made therefor. North Hook Beacon Light and Fog Signal, N. J., are at present so located in front of the batteries at Fort Hancock. Sandy Hook, N. J., as to interfere very seriously with the gun Ore of several of the batteries, and absolutely prohibits the training of the guns on the ranges covering the entrances to New York Harbor. The matter has been carefully Investigated by representatives of the War Department and of the Lighthouse Service, and the views of maritime interests obtained relative to the best methods of making the necessary changes. It is recommended that the keepers' quarters, light, and fog signal be moved to a new location out of range of the batteries. Detailed estimate:
Moving and raising light, with new foundation $7,000
Building new fog-signal house and moving engines 5,000
Moving, relocating, and repairing three keepers' dwellings 6,000
Contingencies 2,000
Total 20,000

1921 – The 1880 metal tower was moved up the Hudson River to serve as Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse.

Keepers:

  • Head: William W. Lyons (1868 – 1869), John Gunn (1869 – 1876), Michael T. Burke (1876 – 1879), John A. Sutton (1879 – 1888), William Stanton (1888 – 1910), John J. Cook (1910 – at least 1913), William T. Locke (at least 1915 – at least 1921), Enoch G. Hand (at least 1930).
  • First Assistant: W. D. Ives (1868), Laura Lyons (1868 – 1869), Catharine Gunn (1869 – 1870), Frank Schuchardt (1870), Henry M. Morrison (1870), Charles H. Carpenter (1870 – 1871), Thomas Higginbotham (1871 – 1872), William Ross (1872 – at least 1873), Robert McNeil (1874 – 1875), M. T. Burke (1875 – 1876), John Langston (1876 – 1877), John A. Sutton (1877 – 1879), Thomas Murphy (1879 – 1881), Thomas Higginbotham (1881 – 1882), George Brennan (1882), John Walker (1882 – 1885), Ellsworth Young (1886), William Stanton (1886 – 1888), James Sullivan (1888 – 1889), Christian Hansen (1889 – 1890), Oscar E. Riker (1890), Charles A. Brewer (1890 – 1897), William J. Stanton (1897 – 1906), Edward J. Worth (1906 – 1907), Charles W. Oliver (1907), George Cox (1907 – 1909), John J. Cook (1909 – 1910), Evard Jansen (1910 – 1911), Ernest T. Anderson (1911), Arthur Herne (1911 – 1912), Enoch G. Hand (1912 – at least 1925).
  • Second Assistant: A. Douglas Hallgren (1904 – 1906), Edward J. Worth (1906), George Cox (1906 – 1907), William T. Locke (1907 – 1910), Ernest T. Anderson (1910 – 1911), Arthur Herne (1911), Enoch G. Hand (1911 – 1912), John D. McMillan (1912 – at least 1915), Robert L. Howard (at least 1921 – at least 1925).

Copyright © 2001- Lighthousefriends.com
Pictures on this page copyright National Archives, used by permission.
email Kraig