Egg Island Lighthouse
Part of the Lost Lighthouses of New Jersey Series
On the afternoon of August 20, 1950, oystermen working the waters of the upper Delaware Bay looked toward Egg Island and saw flames reaching toward the sky. The old wood-frame Egg Island Lighthouse was on fire, and in little more than half an hour, nothing remained but smoldering embers. The blaze obliterated a historic landmark beloved by generations of local watermen. Built in about 1877, the two-story wooden structure had a small lantern on its roof. Abandoned in 1935, after a small iron-skeleton tower was placed nearby, the building quickly became ramshackled. Fishermen occasionally used the old residence as a shelter and may have brought on its destruction by building a fire to warm themselves and dry their clothes on a rainy day. No doubt its dry timbers burned like matchwood.