Sandy Hook Lighthouse, NJ

Sandy Hook Lighthouse, NJ

When the American Revolution began in 1775, there were eleven lighthouses on the coasts of the original thirteen colonies. These lighthouses became targets of control for both armies in order to control the shipping lanes.

The very first lighthouse in the country while under British control was Boston Light, built in 1716 by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Other colonies followed suit and also built and operated lighthouses as aids to navigation and commerce.

In 1764, at the entrance to New York Harbor, the 103-foot Sandy Hook lighthouse was built.

But in March of 1776, fear of a British invasion of New York City spurred the Congress of New York to order the Continental Army to extinguish the Sandy Hook beacon and remove its lens. Major William Malcolm and his troops succeeded in making the light inoperable, thus thwarting the tower’s use for the enemy.

However, three months later, British troops had regained control of the tower, rigging a replacement lens to project a beacon for British ships. U.S. sailors retaliated by bombarding the tower in an attempt to extinguish the light again.

Although the light remained in British hands, the tower survived the bombardment and still stands today, bearing evidence of its injuries during the onslaught.

The Boston Light, however, didn’t survive the Revolution. The same month of the Sandy Hook battle, British troops blew up Boston Light. In fact, none of the other remaining nine lighthouses still survive.

Boston Light, photo by Jeremy D'

Boston Light, photo by Jeremy D’Entremont


Of the eleven original colonial lighthouses, only Sandy Hook has survived, making it the oldest lighthouse in America.

Like the country it protects, the lighthouse still stands, proudly showing the scars of battle, yet remaining a historic reminder of freedom’s victory.

Freedom isn’t free. There’s a cost involved, and it is proudly paid by our servicemen and women. Let us never take for granted the freedoms we have that others have paid for.


Christ also offers us freedom. Spiritual freedom that He paid for with His own sacrifice. Although we too, face spiritual enemies, none of them can take away the freedom Christ has given us. Let us be forever grateful for his gift of freedom.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Galatians 5:1