HIGHLANDS – The Twin Lights Museum is now open Wednesdays through Sundays with new exhibits, a Museum Store with unique items, and the added opportunity for all who want to climb both the North and South Towers.
New Exhibits at the museum include an interactive Navigation Exhibit in the foyer of the South Tower, featuring some of the tools used by earlier mariners, together with written directions on how they were used. The exhibit includes a sextant, compass and chronometer, and the foyer also features an interactive wall where visitors can highlight the paths of all the waterways surrounding the Twin Lights area.
The Auditorium, which is open for scheduled small scale meetings, parties and private events, features and exhibit on Highlands and its local residents who have made a historic impact on the area in the fields of athletics, hotel management, preservation of Twin Lights history, Prohibition and local Industry. Some of the people featured include Trudy Ederle, Chris Kohlenbush, Blub Parker, Joshua Huddy and more. One of the exhibits features the late Esther Bolster, a Highlands resident who headed the Commission responsible for saving the lighthouse after it was decommissioned.
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Also new this year are several different exhibits focusing on the former Sandlass Beach Club, one of the most popular amusement areas in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Beach Club was located across the Navesink River from the Twin Lights in Sea Bright, at what is now the entrance to Gateway National Recreation Area.
The new exhibits were researched, designed and created through a close working relationship between historians Nicholas Wood of the New Jersey State Park Service, Jenna Paterno of the Twin Lights Historical Society and Walt Guenther of the Historical Society of Highlands. The exhibit was funded through the generous support of the State Park Service.
The museum and grounds are free to enjoy. Tickets available in the south Tower entrance grant visitors access to climbing both towers as many times as they want that day. Tower admission is $5 per adult and $2 per child twelve years and under.
Private tours are also available at $12 per adult and no charge for children under ten years when accompanied by adults. Tours include stories of the events, people and materials that made the Twin Lights famous for almost two centuries, including Marconi’s wireless telegraph, the connection between the Pledge of Allegiance and the Twin Lights, and the Fresnel lens.
The Museum Store features a variety of merchandise with the new 2021 logo of the Twin Lights, including shirts and mugs. Books by local authors, jewelry, activities for children and more are all in store. Museum volunteer workers also have the new log available for stamping US Lighthouse Passports.