This past weekend, the Seaport welcomed hundreds of competitors from all over the country attempting to complete the 2018 Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey. The challenge is an opportunity to visit all 10 land-based lighthouses in New Jersey including one museum and two US Life-Saving Stations over the course of just two days! Challengers paid a one-time $2 registration fee at their first stop and picked up lighthouse passport stamps on every stop along the way. This year’s souvenir was a deck of lighthouse playing cards. To receive the complete deck, challengers collected a personalized playing card at each stop.
More than just a fun opportunity to visit lighthouses, the Challenge gave visitors an opportunity to explore our beautiful state while bringing awareness to the financial and historical situations of these great beacons and landmarks. Every new and returning challenger helps raise the funds necessary to keep these landmarks preserved so that their history and aesthetic beauty can continue to be shared with the public.
During the bustle of our Haunted Seaport by night, challengers made their way past our Creepy Carnival clowns and ghouls to the second floor of Tucker’s Island lighthouse to collect their cards and stamps by day. Any one of these visitors could share their devotion to the challenge as tied to their love for lighthouses whether for their interesting design, representation of everything aquatic, or significance as beacons of safety for mariners, and more.
Our Tucker’s Island Lighthouse is a favorite stop in the challenge for many because of our scenic boardwalk, 40 acre site including our baymen’s museum, and other historic attractions. There is just a 40 step climb to reach the top of our tower to look over the Pohatcong Lake and Tuckerton creek. Along the way, visitors stopped to chat with Bob, one of our favorite docents, about the history of the lighthouse and the now washed away Tucker’s Island. He was eager to offer up information on how the island was home to New Jersey’s first resort town, Sea Haven, the role of the US Life Station on Tucker’s Island, or the story of the Rider family that took care of the lighthouse for 63 years before erosion and the Atlantic Ocean washed away the building and the entire island away.
Watch our video about the Challenge and listen to what challengers had to say about it themselves! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2tkHC5zlUw
Then join us again or for the first time in celebrating and experiencing these great sentinels of our great state next year! The Lighthouse Challenge will be held on Saturday, October 19th and Sunday, October 20th , 2019.
If you can’t wait until then, the Seaport and Tucker’s Island Lighthouse is open every day from 10am – 5 pm.