, Long Beach Island, New Jersey
to Discover Ocean County
"Old Barney" is located 45 miles south of Sandy Hook, at the north end of Long
Beach Island, at Barnegat Inlet. In 1834 a 40 foot tower was built here
and eventually fitted with a fourth-order lens.
The present tower was
erected in 1857/58 and first lit New Year's Day, 1859. The tower is 165 feet
tall, and was originally fitted with a first-order fresnel lens.
Migrating birds were drawn to the light and often crashed through the
lantern. As a result, the dome was reinforced with wire mesh.
In 1926 the Barnegat Light was transfered to the state of New Jersey,
and its duties were assumed by the Barnegat lightship. In 1944 the
Coast Guard decommissioned Old Barney, and the first-order lens was replaced
with a gas blinker on the roof of the lantern. This odd solution only lasted
a few weeks, although the gas apparatus can still be seen at the top of
the tower. A 250 watt electric bulb replaced the blinker, and remains the
source of Barnegat's light today.
During the 1960's the tower came
very close to succumbing to erosion. Today Barnegat Light stands in a
well-maintained park, and the tower is open daily for climbing.