Well over 500 of the thousands of visitors to the Clamfest in Highlands 8/4 & 8/5, stopped at the Twin Lights booth for information and gifts from the state museum’s Twin Lights Historical Society, many seeking more information on the planned fall Night time Climbs of the Towers in September and October.
Michele Spaeth, Operations Manager at the Twin Lights for the Twin Lights Historical Society, noted that the hundreds who visited the Friends sponsored display at the festival came from the Bayshore area but had never visited the Twin Lights. Others, she said, recalled times from their childhood or several years ago when they did visit. One resident who had just moved to the borough the day before the festival said she was excited to be going to visit the museum this week. Another couple recalled their wedding photos they had taken at the Twin Lights and many more said they are regular visitors to the historic museum.
This was the first time the TLHS Friends had sponsored a table at the popular Clam Festival, Spaeth said, and it was a highly engaging crowd that gathered at the table for gifts ranging from historic post card reproductions to cell phone attachments as well as to learn more about the history of the Twin Lights. Many are anxious to see the work recently completed by a Monmouth University team in uncovering the foundation of the original lighthouse built in 1802 and near the south tower of the present structure, built in 1862. Others indicated how exciting it was to see the original Fresnel Lens in the building adjacent to the main building on the Twin Lights site.
The Night Climbs will be under full moons on Sept. 29 and Oct. 28, Spaeth said, when for the first time, the Twin Lights will be open in the evening to participate in the Society’s fund-raising event. For $5, visitors will be able to climb to view the setting sun and rising full moon. No advance registration is needed to participate in the climbs. The Lighthouse will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. on those dates. In case of rain, the September event will be held the following day (Saturday).
The Lighthouse is also one of the 13 Lighthouses across New Jersey who are participating in the annual Lighthouse Challenge on Oct. 21 and 22. Each of the lighthouses will be open that weekend, and the Historical Society will have a Welcome Table at the Twin Lights so interested parties can visit the Park Service’s museum and pick up the credentials that will be stamped at each of the lighthouse visited that weekend for souvenirs and prizes for the finishers.
Spaeth also noted that the Society has had an active season with the Twin Lights open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. through Labor Day. Three new volunteers have been added to the staff. New Highlands resident Sabrina Lee, became a volunteer because she wants to be involved with the community and has past experience volunteering at a lighthouse, Charles Cosgrove, a junior at Rumson-Fair Haven High School, is volunteering and earning community hours for the Honor Society, and Max Caiola, a senior at Shore Regional High School is volunteering. He has a desire to learn the history of the lighthouse. Caiola will be posting for the Society on social media.
For further information on the Twin Lights Museum, visit twinlightslighthouse.org.