Report for Cape May Light Station (New Jersey) - 1907

District: 4th
Inspector: F. C. Ruffhead, Chief Clerk & H. Bamber, Asst. Eng
Location: On Cape May, NE'ly side of entrance to Delaware Bay, seacoast of NJ
Date of Report: 07/28/1907
Latitude: 38° 55' 59"
Longitude: 74° 57' 39"
Site: Purchase
Date of Reservation:
Date of Deed: 04/11/1847
Date of Permission:
Date of Lease:
Area of the Entire Site: About 4 acres. About 1.1 acres occupied by Life Saving Serv. & about 1/4 acre is right of way for RR
Area Inclosed: About 2 65/100 acres
Character of Soil: Sandy loam
Distance of tower from Nearest High-Water Mark: About 1100'
Inclosures to Premises / Type of Fence: Board & wire fences
Wharf or Landing on Premises: None
Road to Land or Wharf Chararacter of and Distance: No wharf
Means to Reach Light Station: By RR to Cape May, NJ & trolley to Cape May Point. (Officials & employees of lighthouse service on official business are transported free over this trolley line. Passes obtained at Engineer's Office, 4th District.
Distance to Nearest Road: Lightstation is near intersection of Howard & Lighthouse Ave. About 2.5 miles by road to RR station at Cape May. (Cape May, Del. Bay & Sewells Point RR now owned by Phila & Reading RR Co.)
Distance to Post Office: About 3/8 mile to Cape May Point Post Office. Distance to street about 200'.
Distance to Village: Light station is located in village of Cape May Point.
Facilities for Public Conveyance: Electric street cars run from Cape May to Cape May Point, passing within 500' of the station dwellings.
Facilities for Private Conveyance: If necessary, busses & carriages can be hired in Cape May. Distance to RR station about 2.5 miles.
Means Used for Support of Lantern: Brick tower supports lantern
Number of Separate Lights: One
First Built or Established: 1823
Last Rebuilt, Repaired, or Renovated: 1859
Condition at This Date: Good
Shape of Tower in Plan: Circular
Form of Tower: Conical
Height from Base to Ventilator Ball: About 157' 6"
Height of Focal Plane Above Mean High Water: About 149'. Focal plane of lens is 141' 11".
Background of Lighthouse as Seen from Sea: Buildings, trees & sky
Color of Tower: Gray, lantern & watchroom red
Color of Tower/ How Produced: Paint
Tower Connection: Detached
Object of Navigation: Seacoast & general navigating purposes
Building Materials: Brick
General Description:
Wall Thickness at Base: Outer, about 3' 10"; inner about 8.5"
Wall Thickness at Parapet: Outer, about 18"; inner about 8.5"
Diameter at Base: 27' diam. outside, just above stone water table 10' 6" inside
Diameter at Parapet: About 15' dia. outside, below watchroom. Outside diam. of w.r. abt 13' 6"
Kind of Stairway and Steps: Cast iron spiral stairway
Number of Landings: 6
Size of Glass: 20.5" x 23"; Watchroom 20 1/4" x 24"; entrance 9" x 12"; bullseye about 9"
Number of Windows and Size of Sash: 3 double sash windows in lower entrance, each containing 6 9" x 12" frames. 7 stairway single frame double sash windows 2' 3.5" x 4'; 5 stairway bullseye windows about 8.5" dia.; 1 single pane double sash Watchroom window with glass 20 1/4" x 24".
Number of Doors: In tower, 5
Kind of Foundation and Depth Below Surface: 12' masonry on 12" grillage (old note in office)
Character of Soil Surrounding the Lighthouse: Sandy loam
Soil Susceptibility: Yes
Miscellaneous Remarks: Additional deed, April 8, 1858. Both good
Lantern and Fixtures
Order of Lantern: 1st
Shape of Lantern: Polygonal
Diameter to Glass: 11' 11 5/8" & 11' 11 1/4"
Diameter in the Clear:
Number of Sides: 16
Type of Bars: Vertical
Thickness of Bars:
Height Glazed: 9' 9"
Number of Plates in Height: 3
Number of Plates Each Side: 3
Thickness of Plates: 1/4" to 5/16"
Size of Plates: Lower: 2' 3 3/4" x 2' 6 3/4"; Middle: 2' 3 3/4" x 3' 3"; Upper: 2' 3 3/4" x 3' 8 5/8"
Number of Storm Panes: None
Unglazed Side of Lantern: None
What Bearings:
Construction Material Lantern: Metal, posts are iron; sash bars, sill, lintel & glass stops are bronze
Construction Material Roof / Cowl: Sheet copper, painted
Ventilator / Cowl: Copper
Lightning Spindle: Is pinnacle of lantern, which is bronze. It has a conical platinum tipped point.
Description of Lightning Rod: Spindle is provided with platinum point & 1/2" copper cable is looped around spindle. Cable passes through watchroom balcony deck, straight down left side of tower to std. ground connector.
Balustrade: Cast iron floor, cast iron post, wrought iron rails.
Lantern Doors: 2, outer wood on hinges & common iron bolt; inner door iron, hung on hinges & fitted with knob latch
Floor of Lantern: Cast iron, covered with t&g flooring
Watchroom Doors: Wood, with glass panel fitted with mortise lock.
Parapet Diameter: 10' to inside of lining
Location / Number: 5 in watchroom wall, 8" diameter, covered with brass register
Ladders / Cleaning Arrangement: One
Curtain Hooks / Hanger: Curtains are hung on 8 rollers

How is Watchroom Fitted: 1 small cupboard about 18" x 6' x 3' 3" high, 1 shelf, 1 lens clock, 1 telephone
How is Relief Called: 1 telephone with magneto call bell in watchroom & another in each of 3 dwellings
Where is Call System Led: Wires lead down watchroom wall through floor, thence to center col., down inside thence under tower floor & surface of ground to dwellings & thence to a bedroom in each dwelling.
Illuminating Apparatus
Kind of Apparatus: About 8 hours
Intensity in Candles:
Name of Maker: Henry LePaute A Paris
Year Made: Not marked
Marks and Number: Henry LePaute A Paris
Order of Apparatus: 1st
Inside Diameter: About 6' 1"
Light Characteristic: Flashing white every 3 seconds
Time of Revolution: 8 minutes
Flash Interval: 30 sec
Duration of Flash: About 2 sec
Arc of Each Fixed Part: No fixed part
Number of Panels: 16
Number of Flash Panels: 16
Arc of Each: 22 degrees 30'
Number of Elements in Central Drum: 16
Number of Prisms Above Center Drum: 17
Number of Prisms Below Center Drum: 8
Does Apparatus Revolve?: True
Is There a Revolving Belt?: False
Revolving Panels:
How Flash is Produced: Whole lens is revolved by a weight actuated clock.
Number of Vertical Elements Panel:
Fixed Lens Covered:
Pedestal: Cast iron, height 4' 8" above watchroom floor.
Service Table: None, except top of cupboard mentioned in watchroom
Draft Tube Description: Short cast iron tube set inside & attached to "spider" ring of lantern. Guide rollers of lens run upon outside of tube. Slipped down over its top is a 5" short brass tube, ext. up to pt. about 8" below lantern rafters. Damper tube is attached to con. tube
Revolving Machinery: 1st order lens clock, operated by weights
Standby and Description:
Chariot Float or Balls: Chariot
Chariot Description: 10 wheels, 5 3/8" diameter 20 guide wheels, 3.5" dia.
Length of Drop Tube: Including window recess, about 28'
Clock Weight:
Length of Winding Time: About 8 hours
Drive During Rewind:
Machinery Protection: Iron & glass case, about 22" x 2' 1", standing on wooden base 18" high.
Regulated: By 2 wing, 2 ball vertical governor. Wings are about 6" x 7"
Lens Protection:
How Color is Produced: No color
Red Sectors Description: No red sectors
Where Color Attached:
Form of Colored Glass:
Lamp Description: Std. plunger lamp burner, has 5 wicks
Type of Illuminant:
Number of Spare Lamps: One
Number of Spare Burners: 2 (3 in all)
Candle Power:

Clock Cord Description
Revolving Cord: Wire cord
Size of Clock Cord:
Length of Clock Cord:
How Led: Vert. down through watchroom floor, thence to weight tube in tower over upper window
Diameter and Length of Clock Drum:
Closets and Store Rooms
Tower Closet Use: Oil room upon each side of entrance & storeroom on 2nd floor of entrance, reached by means of ladder in right oil room. These rooms are closets used for general storage purposes.
Oil House Description: Brick oil house 14' x 18' located about 32' to right & rear of tower. It has brick foundation & 5 shelves.
Oil House Inside Dimension:
Oil House Construction Material:
Oil House Capacity:
Other (Describe): Dwellings #1 & 2 have 5 closets on 1st floor, & 3 on 2nd floor. #3 has 1 on 1st floor & 4 on 2nd & storeroom on 1st floor & another in basement. All closets fitted with shelves etc & used for domestic purposes. Basement under ea dwelling used for storage
Suitability: Dry & suitable
Location: #1 about 34' 7" from tower #2 about 35' 8" from tower #3 about 48' 7" from tower
Coloring: White with lead colored trimmings & green shutters
Construction Materials: All frame, with brick foundations
Number of Rooms: #1 & 2, 7 & enclosed porch; # 3 - 8 rooms & bath
Number of Dwellings: 3
Heating Plant:
Number of Keepers: 1 each dwelling
Furnished Quarters:
NOT Furnished Quarters:
Outhouses: Brick oil house, brick barn, brick stable & 3 frame privies.
Outhouse Coloring: White
Paths and Walks: Brick walks connect tower, dwellings, oil house & privies.
Area Inclosed: 2 65/100 acres, by board & wire fences
Area of Garden: About 1.5 acres
Area Timber or Shrubbery: None
Cultivation Area Available: About 1.5 acres
Area Cultivated: About 1.5 acres
Character of Surroundings: Sandy loam
Stove, Maker:
Stove, Size:
Sink, Maker:
Sink, Size:
Pump, Maker:
Pump, Size:
How Procured: From wells & from city water for 5 months each year
Quality: Good
Quantity: Ample
Injury Possible: Not liable
Purity Precaution: Rain water not used
Tank Capacity: No tanks nor cisterns
Tank Material:
Distilling Apparatus: False
Distilling Manufacturer:
Well Description: #1 dug well about 8' 6" deep; # 3 & 4 are driven wells
Well Diameter: #1 - 4'; #3 & 4 - 1.5"
Well Lining: #1 has brick lining
Pump or Bucket: Pump
What Power Used:
Distance from Dwelling: #1 - 5' from dwell 1&2; 3 near dwell #3, 4 in barn
General Opinion: Healthful
Diseases: None
Local Causes: No
Recommended Improvements: No
Access to Lighthouse: No wharf
Distance and Direction: No wharf
Miscellaneous Remarks: General character & condition good. Illuminating apparatus, fine & well kept.