Statue of Lighthouse Keeper Dedication on National Lighthouse Day

Woodburning Demonstration, Free Climbing Admission for Kids
By Maria Scandale | Jul 31, 2019
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Barnegat Light — “Ol’ Barney” draws visitors to the north end of Long Beach Island like a magnet any day, but on National Lighthouse Day, he’ll be extremely attractive. Barnegat Lighthouse State Park and the Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse will celebrate National Lighthouse Day on Wednesday, Aug. 7, with extra activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At 10:30 a.m., gather to the west of the lighthouse tower for the dedication of the new 8-foot bronze statue of a lighthouse keeper donated to the park by the Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. The sculpture was created by Brian Hanlon, who is well known for his work in the United States and throughout the world. Hanlon also produced the nearby Fishermen’s Story Memorial remembering local fishermen lost at sea.

With the newest sculpture, lighthouse keepers get their day in the sun. The statue honors “the dedication of lighthouse keepers to protecting vessels from dangerous coastlines and hazardous shoals, and providing safe entries to harbors around the globe,” said an invitation to the public from the friends group.

“We are really hoping that family members of lighthouse keepers will hear about the exhibit and be willing to share any memories they have,” said state park Superintendent Cynthia L. Coritz.

Staff from the N.J. State Park Service, Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park and the artist, Brian Hanlon, will speak briefly about the idea for the sculpture, how it was made and the reading rail exhibit panel that is phase 2.

After the ceremony there will be time for questions and photos.

National Lighthouse Day is celebrated annually by many lighthouses and the New Jersey Lighthouse Society to honor the beacons of light that for hundreds of years symbolized safety and security for ships and boats at sea, said Michael C. Banks, president of the Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park.

Artwork by woodburning is an exciting activity in the Visitor Center. Local artist Jon Fiorella will spend the day demonstrating his woodburning techniques as he makes images of Barnegat Lighthouse on various pieces of wood including local driftwood.

The friends group is also hosting a Junior Lighthouse Keeper activity in the Interpretive Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children will be able to earn a Junior Lighthouse Keeper Certificate by coming to the Visitor Center and answering questions on the specific features and history of Barnegat Lighthouse.

Kids climb the lighthouse free that day. There will be no charge for children ages 14 and younger.

— Maria Scandale

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