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HEREFORD INLET LIGHTHOUSE
Village of Anglesea, 111 North Central Avenue, North Wildwood, New Jersey 08260

 
 

 

Proposed Historic Anglesea Maritime Village

The "Friends of Hereford Inlet Lighthouse" would like to one day acquire the Old Coast Guard Life Boat Station, now home to the NJ State Police.

There is a long inter-related history of the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, the Anglesea Life Saving Station and the Coast Guard Life Boat Station. They not only shared this common history but common ground as well. They were all situated right next to each other. It is very clear that both sites have to be considered as well as preserved, as one historic property.

There have been unsuccessful efforts made over the years to allow the The Friends of Hereford Inlet Lighthouse to acquire the Life Boat Station. If this does occur in the future, the plan would be to first get official acknowledgement of its historic significance. This would come, along with a blanket of protection for the property, by being placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Accurate restoration as was done at the Lighthouse would be next. The Life Boat Station would then be turned into a museum highlighting and celebrating the Life Saving Service, Coast Guard as well as the various State Marine enforcement agencies that have occupied the station over the years. This site combined with the Lighthouse would offer visitors a much more complete interpretation of the long and fascinating maritime history of the Hereford Inlet.

The only road block, it seems, is to find a new and better location for the State Police, now charged with their new mission of Homeland Security. If this is accomplished, it is thought that there is a good possibility the State would allow the plan to proceed.

The Life Boat Station is composed of three 70 year old buildings, not set up for the 21st century needs of the State Police. There have been some slight alterations recently with talk of more retro-fitting of these historic structures. Too much of this could ruin the historicity of the Station. Additionally, the Station has not had direct launch capabilities or docks for over 40 years. Patrol boats have to be taken by trailer to various boat slips around the County.

The move to acquire the old station is in no way disregarding the very important work of the State Police. Their history is just as significant as that of the Life Saving Service and the Coast Guards. One can see by the facts that both the State Police and The Friends of Hereford Inlet Lighthouse would benefit by their relocation, preferably to a modern facility somewhere on the water.

As of this writing, the much hoped for project is like a boat dead in the water. It is not moving forward nor drifting backward. It is thankfully though, not sinking. Help is needed quickly however, or it just may.

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Background art courtsey of Donna Elias