Cumberland County Lighthouse Getting Closer to Opening after Renovations

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In Cumberland County, the East Point Lighthouse has been under renovations for the past several months, bringing the crumbling building back to what it once was.

Since 1849, East Point Lighthouse has stood at the mouth of the Maurice River, guiding trade and oyster ships back to Cumberland County.

There has been a renovation of the outside, but nothing inside, and the lighthouse was long past due.

“Just basically, the building was continuing to crumble and you don’t want to lose this piece of history, it’s just too important,” said Nancy Patterson, President of the Maurice River Historical Society.

Thanks to a collaboration between the county, Cumberland County Improvement Authority, the Maurice River Historical Society, and help from a few grants, the restoration was able to get started in July.

“The walls have been painted, the trim has been replaced, and the other interesting thing is the plaster has been done the way it would have been originally,” said Patterson.

As the restoration continues, the shutters have been painted and the bricks have been covered to make this building look more similar to the original East Point Lighthouse.

“Historically, it’s a whitewashed building, and for good reason,” said Patterson. “It protects both the inside and the outside of the lighthouse.”

But now that the renovation is getting closer to completion, the next battle is with Mother Nature.

Patterson said the Army Corp of Engineers are working on a plan to protect the historical structure from future storms and bad weather.

“This is the mouth of the river, and it has pretty much failed and the erosion has been so bad and ramped up since Hurricane Sand,” said Patterson.

There are still a few more projects to get done before the lighthouse door can officially open to the public again, but Patterson is excited for the new handicapped ramp, gift shop, and little resident that has been keeping watch during the construction.

“She has a little orange spot on her forehead, which kind of looks like a light, so we called her ‘Lantern the Lighthouse Kitty,’” said Patterson.

Whether you want to meet Lantern in person or see what the structure once looked like, the building should stay standing, as a constant reminder of Cumberland County’s roots.

SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.

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