Friends of Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
111 North Central Avenue
North Wildwood, New Jersey 08260
Dear Friends of Hereford Inlet Lighthouse,
Our organization, the non-profit
“Friends of Hereford Inlet Lighthouse”, is scheduled to be removed as
the Lighthouse by the Mayor and Council of the City of North
Wildwood. We need the help of all of our members and supporters,
now more than ever. We are being forced to vacate the property by the
end of the year. Here is the situation.
The State of New Jersey, New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection – Division of Parks and Forestry, owns the entire Lighthouse
property and leases it to the City. Our organization, the non-profit
“Friends of Hereford Inlet Lighthouse” in turn, has a management
agreement with the City. This is a highly unusual situation because
most lighthouses are directly leased to a non-profit organization.
Mayor Rosenello and Council
The core of our founding trustees were the
persons responsible for the initial saving of the Lighthouse, its early
renovations and finally the historically accurate restoration from
1999-2011. These same people were also the ones who developed the
museum, tours, gift shop, special events, gardens and everything else
connected with the Lighthouse. The “Friends” first began as “the
Lighthouse Commission” and evolved into what it is today.
Relations with the previous four mayors and
their councils have been fairly good, until now. Occasionally however,
even under some of the past administrations, interference by elected
officials has created some problems for those running the Lighthouse.
Because this situation has always had the
potential to cause problems, the late Mayor, Bill Henfey, spoke of his
desire to see the eventual transfer of the lease from the City to the
“Friends”. Unfortunately, the exact opposite situation has been brewing
for the last year. The current Mayor, with vague and unfounded
accusations of management problems, as well as so-called liability
concerns, has asked City Council to pass a resolution terminating our
original management agreement. This will expire December 31, 2017. They
have also drafted a new document which will turn almost all authority
and duties regarding the Lighthouse and Gardens over to the City.
In a nutshell; this politically motivated move
would restrict our organization to only running tours and the gift
shop. Our trustees would no longer be able to oversee the restoration
or maintenance of the Lighthouse or Gardens. New people, with no
experience with or knowledge of the history of the building or its
restoration background, would then be running the Lighthouse.
The new management agreement is so restrictive
in every minute detail, which even our ads, posters, brochures and
signs would have to be approved by the city.
The Mayor has even hired a horticulture
consulting firm that has a plan that would call for the removal of all
the trees on the Lighthouse property, as well changing the plant
varieties to what they think are more appropriate. This in itself is heartbreaking to us.
We have sent our response to the Mayor and
council in October. It stated that we cannot sign this agreement, and
went on to say we will only sign one that is similar to the original or
ideally, work with the State for the transfer of the lease.
We just received a reply on November 14th
acknowledging that there will be no agreement between the City and
“Friends” for the year 2018. Our organization will have to vacate the
property and the “Friends” organization will probably have to dissolve
sometime in the New Year.
As many of you are aware, I am the author of
the history of the Lighthouse, “Guardians of the Hereford Inlet”. If
you read it, you know that for 143 years the only villains of the
Lighthouse were wind, rain, snow, fire and the crashing waves of the
Atlantic Ocean. Now its very different - the villain for the first time
We have always felt we are the modern day
keepers of Hereford and we have to stay vigilant, guarding it to the
end. We consider this place, with its history of great dedication and
sacrifice and numerous lives both saved and lost, to be sacred and
should not be treated as a political football. If you are happy
with the work we have done restoring and running the Lighthouse,
building and maintaining the gardens, hosting special events,
producing the newsletter, developing our tours and museum displays,
running our “Buy a Brick Program” etc. etc., Please send a strong
letter of support (and outrage) to
901 Atlantic Ave.
North Wildwood, New Jersey 08260
Please also send a copy to the State Historic Preservation Office (this
is very important)
Director Katherine Marcopul
NJ Historic Preservation Office
PO box 420
501 East State St. 4th floor
Trenton N.J. 08625-0420
Thank you for your long support. Remember, there is not much time left.
Your prayers will help as well. Remember, we need to respond quickly.
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
working lighthouse as well as a museum. It is open to the public for
guided and self guided tours. Visitors will learn about the History of
Hereford and get a glimpse of the life of a lighthouse keeper in the
late 19th and early 20th century.
A park surrounding the Lighthouse is
many different garden areas containing over 200 plant varieties. The
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Gardens are planted in the Victorian cottage style and extend right up
to the ocean seawall. They have won several awards, including the
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Suburban Greening Award.
The garden and grounds around the
wheelchair accessible. A DVD tour is available upon request to those
unable to climb the Lighthouse.
We welcome and can accommodate school
citizen groups and all other tour buses. Special rates are available
for groups of 30 or more.
The Lighthouse also has a gift shop
lighthouse and nautical theme art work, books, miniatures, shirts ,
hats, mugs and much more.
"To the Lighthouse!"
All sales from the Gift Shop are used for restoration and preservation
of the Hereford Lighthouse and beautiful surrounding gardens.
THE HEREFORD INLET
by Steve Murray
The first book to
document the history of the
the Anglesea Life Saving Station and the U.S. Coast
You may also order Guardians
of the Hereford Inlet
by mail. Make check payable
to Hereford Inlet Lightouse $25.00
shipping for one book. $6.00 shipping
for more than one. Friends
Mail order to: Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
P.O. Box 784
Rio Grande, NJ 08242
Finally - The childrens book that artist Donna Elias and Steve Murray
collaborated on is here! "To the Lighthouse!", published by Exit Zero of
Cape May, is now availble for purchase.
The beautiful but instructive little book was written by Steve and
illustrated by Donna, with 35 lovely watercolor paintings. It is geared
toward younger children and answers many questions, in an enjoyable
way, about Lighthouses. It describes why they were needed, how they
worked, the duties of the Keepers and fun facts about New Jersey
Lighthouses. In the back of the book there is a removable "Assistant
Lighthouse Keeper" certificate for children to fill in their own name
and that can be framed. There is also a place where children can get
the offcial ink stamp of each NJ lighthouse they visit if they take the
book with them on their trips. Adults, as well as collectors of Donna's
art prints, will enjoy this
special book. The cost is $15.00