Image of lighthouse at Sandy Hook from MCHA’s Collection. 

LINCROFT – Join Monmouth County Historical Association on Thursday, March 2 at 7:30pm at the Thompson Park Visitors Center, 805 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ for a lecture presented by Richard Veit on archeological research at Sandy Hook.

Richard Veit is Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University.

Professor Veit will present his lecture, Searching for the Lighthouse Fort and the Refugee Town on Sandy Hook: A Story of Archeological Research. Monmouth University’s 2016 archeological field school investigated the lighthouse property at Sandy Hook in an attempt to identify the location of the Lighthouse Fort and Refugee Town. At the lecture, learn what was uncovered during this trip and hear firsthand from Professor Veit about their discovery.

From 1692 to 1817, Sandy Hook was the private property of the Hartshorne family of Middletown. Since 1764, the historic lighthouse on the Hook has guarded the treacherous approaches to New York Harbor. During the American Revolution, Continental forces tried unsuccessfully to deny the British control of the lighthouse. British troops and partisans captured Sandy Hook early in the war and, despite repeated raids by Continental forces, retained control of the sandy peninsula until the end of the conflict. Indeed, the British fortified the lighthouse and Loyalists, many of African descent, constructed a Refugee Town near the light which served as a base of operations for raiding parties along the Jersey shore.

As part of Monmouth County Historical Association’s current exhibition, entitled Hartshorne: Eight Generations and Their Highlands Estate Called Portland, MCHA has scheduled a series of events to complement the story. “Professor Veit’s lecture fits well with our current exhibition on the Hartshorne family and we are pleased to partner with both Monmouth University and the Monmouth County Park System to complement this exhibition and to draw attention to the local history of Monmouth County,” said Director of Collections Joseph Hammond.  

The Hartshorne exhibition tells the story of this Monmouth County family and their historic property from the 1660s to the mid-20th century. At its maximum extent, the Portland estate encompassed more than 2,400 acres, including all of the Highlands of the Navesink plus Sandy Hook. Few families in New Jersey have placed so much of their history as seen through documents and artifacts in the public domain. Fewer still have seen so much of their historic real estate become public parkland for all to enjoy.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit monmouthhistory.org or call 732-462-1466.

Monmouth County Historical Association, a private non-profit organization that has been working to preserve history and provide educational opportunities since its founding in 1898 comprises a Museum, Archives, Research Library in Freehold and Five Historic House Museums located around the county.  The Museum and Research Library is located at 70 Court Street in Freehold.  Museum hours are: Tuesdays - Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Research Library hours are: Wednesdays –Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Five Historic House Museums are open seasonally.  For further information about the Association, please call (732) 462-1466 or visit the web site at www.monmouthhistory.org.

Monmouth County Historical Association received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.