The Fort Mott Range Light - Pennsville, NJ
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 37.024 W 075° 32.031
18S E 454177 N 4385392
Quick Description: Today, this site is know as Finns Point Range Light. The rear range light is now part of Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge; the front range light has not survived. This Lighthouse obtained National Register Status in August 30, 1978.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 8/30/2008 7:40:45 PM
Waymark Code: WM4JE6
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Rayman
Views: 30

Long Description:
"The Fort Mott Range Light, 1.5 m. (L), raises its black head almost 100 feet to serve mariners on the Delaware. A tall, wire mesh fence encloses the reservation (R), part of which, at 2.7 m., is a U.S. Wild Fowl Sanctuary." --- New Jersey, a Guide to Its Present and Past, 1939; page 632

Built at the same time as the Liston rear range light at Port Penn, Delaware, this light also served the same purpose - to guide naval traffic around the islands and shoals of the Delaware River. The light was a 100-foot black pyramidal skeleton tower with a cylinder containing the stairway, and its light, when active, was 99 feet above the river. The light was automated in 1939, and in 1951 the Coast Guard discontinued it.

In 1981, local citizens formed the Save the Lighthouse Committee and successfully persuaded Congress to approiate money to refurbish the tower. Work was completed by the end of the year. The lighthouse is open the third Sunday of each month from April to October from 12 to 4 p.m. Volunteers are available to answer questions.

First lit in 1877, the tower originally featured a 24 inch diameter Fourth Order Fresnel lens on a focal plane of 105 feet. The light was produced by a kerosene vapor double wick burner, similar to a modern Coleman camping lantern, but able to put out 150,000 candlepower. The keepers would climb 119 spiral steps up the tower and then up another 11 step ladder to service this lamp. Built at the same time as the Liston Rear Range Light at Port Penn, Delaware, Finn’s Point Front and Rear Range lights served as a point of entry and exit between the Delaware Bay and River for maritime traffic moving up and down the river. Over the years the ship channel shifted in the river as silt began to build and in 1895 the U.S. Lighthouse Establishment began planning to move Finn’s Point Range.

Lighthouse Challenge Factoid:
Another Federal Budget Victim
Finn’s Point Rear Range Lighthouse is located in the Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge which is under the authority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge has recently gone through some significant downsizing in both staff and funding. Essentially, both have been eliminated. Unfortunately, many programs had to be cut. One of which is Public access to the lighthouse.

So, Finn’s Point Lighthouse is closed! The annual New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge can no longer boast that all eleven land based lights are open for climbing. I thought it was still a pretty area to visit. Thanks for visiting and hopefully you will feel illuminated after your visit.

Book: New Jersey

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 632

Year Originally Published: 1939

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