Tinicum Island Rear Range Light

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Tinicum Island Rear Range Light
Tinicum Island Rear Range Light, Paulsboro, NJ.jpg
Tinicum Island Rear Range Light in October 2023
Tinicum Island Rear Range Light
Location250 feet (76 m) 70 Second Street, Paulsboro, New Jersey, U.S.
Coordinates 39°50′51″N75°14′23″W / 39.84750°N 75.23972°W / 39.84750; -75.23972
Constructed1880 [1]
FoundationStone masonry [1]
ConstructionIron [1]
Automated1933 [2]
Height85 feet (26 m) [1]
ShapeHexagonal skeletal tower with a spiral staircase with 112 steps to the lantern room [1]
HeritageNational Register of Historic Places listed place, listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
First lit1880 [1]
Focal height34 m (112 ft)  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
LensParabolic reflector [1] (original), DCB-24 Aerobeacon [3] (current)
Light sourceElectricity
Intensity500,000 candlepower from 1,000 watt lamp [1] [3]
Range18 miles (29 km) (within the sight line between front and rear lights) [2]
Characteristic Fixed red [3]
Tinicum Island Range Rear Light Station
Area0.9 acres (0.36 ha)
Architect United States Lighthouse Board
Architectural style Classical Revival
MPS Light Stations of the United States MPS
NRHP reference No. 05001053 [4]
NJRHP No.208 [5]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPSeptember 15, 2005
Designated NJRHPJuly 12, 2005
The lighthouse when keeper's dwelling and related structures were still in place Tinicum island rear light.JPG
The lighthouse when keeper's dwelling and related structures were still in place

The Tinicum Island Rear Range Light is a lighthouse located in the Billingsport section of Paulsboro in Gloucester County, New Jersey, [2] the rear of a pair of range lights marking a section of the channel in the Delaware River south of Philadelphia.


The lighthouse is surrounded by baseball fields next to the new marine terminal for the Port of Paulsboro and is still active for navigation on the Delaware River. It works in conjunction with the Tinicum Front Range Light, known as the Billingsport Front Light, situated on the banks of the Delaware River at the front of Fort Billings Park next to the Paulsboro Refinery. [6]

Front and rear range lighthouses guide sailors who, by aligning the two lights and keeping one light on top of the other, stay in its center and avoid Little Tinicum Island as they travel upstream. [6]

The Tinicum Island Range Lights were activated on New Year's Eve 1880. They had a visible range of 8.5 nautical miles (15.7 km; 9.8 mi). The lights were changed from oil to electric in 1917. [3] The Coast Guard automated the lights in 1933. [2] The light tower originally had a keeper's dwelling with seven rooms, along with a brick oil house, frame barn and barnyard, cow shed, poultry house, and privy on 4.8 acres (1.9 ha) of land. [3] The dwelling buildings were demolished sometime in the 1950s after they fell into disrepair. [7] The rear range lighthouse, which is owned by the United States Coast Guard, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 15, 2005. [5]

Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse Society offers regular tours, including a climb to the top of the tower, the third full weekend of each month from April through October and special tours with advance notice. [8] Surrounding views from the lighthouse include Philadelphia and its airport.

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: New Jersey". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Harbach, Louise (August 25, 1999). "Paulsboro Lighthouse A Guide To River History". The Philadelphia Inquirer Suburban. philly.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Tinicum Island Rear Range Light History". Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse Society. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
  4. "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Tinicum Island Range Rear Light Station" (PDF). National Park Service. September 15, 2005. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
  5. 1 2 Historic Preservation Office (April 5, 2013). "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places: Gloucester County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. p. 4. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
  6. 1 2 Roncace, Kelly (July 22, 2012). "Inland lighthouses such as Tinicum, Finns Point and East Point guide sailors through rivers and bays". Gloucester County Times . Retrieved 2012-10-22.
  7. "Tinicum Rear Range, NJ". lighthousefriends.com. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  8. "Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse Society" . Retrieved 2013-08-16.