As promised, CASA of CGS will feature fun, inexpensive, and educational things to do with children throughout the summer. With a beautiful spring weekend ahead of us, we are all looking to shed our winter blues and be outside as much as possible. If you’re anything like me, this also provides the opportunity to get the kids outside! My family loves to explore and enjoy nature. There’s always something new to look at, even if we’ve been to a place a hundred times before.
One such place is free, stunning, and full of life: East Point Lighthouse in Heislerville (Maurice River Township). Visiting the lighthouse and surrounding bay area not only provides a sense of how magnificent nature can be, but also gives a history lesson to unsuspecting children!
With an abundance of nooks and crannies filled to the brim with wildlife, kids are able to experience a first-hand look at our ecosystem.
The beautiful location, where the Maurice River meets the Delaware Bay, allows for a closeup view of horseshoe crabs, fish, small sand crabs, mussels and more. The breathtaking view only makes the experience better. With plenty of room to run and explore, the lighthouse won’t disappoint for an afternoon out in the warm sunshine.
Here’s a little tidbit of history
to take along with you:
“The East Point Lighthouse was built in 1849 at the mouth of the Maurice River. For many years it was known as the Maurice River Lighthouse. The lighthouse site was deeded to the U.S. Government by Joshua Brick for the sum of $250. The lighthouse became operational on or about September 10, 1849. William W. Yarrington was the first appointed keeper and was paid an annual salary of $350. He was replaced, in a little over two weeks, by Francis Elberson. The last keeper was Linwood Spicer, who took the oath of office on December 12, 1905. When the lighthouse was automated Spicer was transferred to the Christiana Lighthouse in Wilmington Delaware. After the lighthouse was automated custodians were appointed to maintain the light. In exchange for maintaining the light, the custodians were allowed to live in the lighthouse rent free, and were paid the princely sum of $1.00 per year for their services. The last custodian was Gus Eulitz.
The lighthouse was blacked out during World War II. After the war the Coast Guard decided the lighthouse was no longer necessary, and in December, 1941 it was decommissioned. With no keepers or custodians to maintain the lighthouse, deterioration quickly set in.
By 1955, the Federal Government decided to sell the lighthouse and property as surplus and it was purchased by a Long Island construction company, but before the sale was consummated it was found that proper disposal procedures were not followed in that the lighthouse was not first offered to the State of New Jersey. The state was interested in the property not because of the lighthouse but because the site was surrounded by the Heislerville Wildlife Refuge and would provide a place for boats to be launched.
Local residents became concerned with the condition of the lighthouse, and in February, 1971, the Maurice River Historical Society was founded with the goal of restoring the lighthouse. In July 1971, before negiotations with the state were complete, the lighthouse was set on fire. The lantern room, roof and most of the buildings interior were destroyed.
Over the years, through its own efforts and Federal Transportation Enhancement Act and New Jersey Historic Trust grants, a new lantern and roof have been put on the lighthouse. The bricks have been repointed and shutters and windows have been installed. Now that the building is weathertight, restoration efforts can begin on the interior of the lighthouse.
The lighthouse is open to the public on the 3rd Sunday of the month from April to October from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ”
Even if the lighthouse itself isn’t open to go inside, the surrounding area is worth a relaxing, adventurous day away from home!
*History provided by http://www.njlhs.org/njlight/eastpoint.html.
Do you have ideas you’d like to share? Feel free to email me at Jennkaysen@gmail.com.
I’d love to hear your feedback!
Are you ready, Superheroes?
Don’t miss this opportunity to have fun, get silly, and support our cause! Our children need every bit of support we can give! you can easily register online here: https://wespeakupforchildren.org/registration/
If you register before the big day, you’ll receive a t-shirt!