Chris J LeBlanc Photography - Lighthouses
Providing details and historical information of lighthouse pictures taken during my travels
Romer Shoal Lighthouse
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Romer Shoal Lighthouse Links
© 2011 - Chris J LeBlanc Photographer
Location: Located 2.4 miles due north of the northern tip of Sandy Hook in Lower New York Bay.
Latitude: N 40.51356
Longitude: W 74.01339
Year Constructed: 1898. Active
Tower Height: 54 feet Focal Plane: 54 feet
Sparkplug tower with lantern, double gallery above and a lower gallery as well; including 3-story keeper's quarters; and mounted on a cast iron caisson protected by stone riprap; 190 mm lens. Lower half of tower painted white, upper half red.
- Station Established: 1838
- Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1898
- Foundation Materials: CONCRETE/CAST IRON CAISSON
- Construction Materials: CAST IRON
- Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/RED BAND MIDWAY
- Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1898
The present 54-foot sparkplug lighthouse was established on the shoal in 1898. It is believed that this tower was used on the grounds of the Staten Island Lighthouse Depot as an experimental lighthouse for testing fuels, wicks, bulbs, and other lighthouse equipment before it was disassembled and relocated just a few miles offshore.
In 1939, Romer Shoal Lighthouse, along with all navigational aids in the country, fell under the control of the Coast Guard, who stationed four men at the light. Three of the coastguardsmen were always on duty at the lighthouse, while a fourth enjoyed a week's leave. The daily routine of watching the light and maintaining the structure was a bit monotonous, but one of the crew explained to a reporter that the job had its advantages as well. "About the only excitement we have is running the launch out in heavy seas, or going out to help a boat with a broken-down engine. That doesn't happen very often. But it's not so bad here.
The Romer Shoal Lighthouse was automated in 1966, but it continued to help mark the entrance to the busy harbor with a pair of white flashes every fifteen seconds. After a storm in December of 1992 damaged the lighthouse, the Coast Guard considered scrapping the lighthouse and replacing it with a steel skeleton tower. Joe Esposito, who served as caretaker of the Staten Island Lighthouse at the time, refused to let the tower be destroyed, and through his ardent efforts it remains in place today.