Conover Beacon Lighthouse

Leonardo, New Jersey - 1926 (1856**)

Photo of the Conover Beacon Lighthouse.

History of the Conover Beacon Lighthouse

Posted/Updated by Bryan Penberthy on 2011-03-14.

U.S. Coast Guard Archive Photo of the Conover Beacon Original front range lighthouse (Courtesy Coast Guard)

The Conover Beacon, sometimes called the Chapel Hill Front Range Lighthouse, was one of the pair of lights that marked the entrance to the Chapel Hill Channel. Congress first set aside the funds necessary to establish a pair of range lights in 1852, and acquired land on July 30, 1853, however, it would be 1856 before the towers would see operation. Both range lights were constructed by Richard Calrow Jr. of NYC, which later constructed several other range lights in the New Jersey area. The Coast Guard has a good photo of the original 55 foot tall wooden front range lighthouse shown below.

The current tower dates to 1926 when it was put into service as the Waackaack Front Range Lighthouse. It was relocated to serve as the Chapel Hill Front Range Light in 1941. The tower has been inactive since 1957. In 2004, the federal government transferred ownership to Middletown Township. Several groups are working on plans to restore the tower.

The Chapel Hill Rear Range Light is still standing today as well. It is now a private residence and set back off the road, making it hard to see.

U.S. Coast Guard Archive Photo of the Chapel Hill Rear Range Light Chapel Hill Rear Range Light (Courtesy Coast Guard)


  1. America's Atlantic Coast Lighthouses (6th edition), Jeremy D'Entremont, 2005.
  2. New Jersey Lighthouse Society website.
  3. Guarding New Jersey's Shore: Lighthouses and Life-Saving Stations, David Veasey, 2000.

Directions: The tower is located on public land at the end of Leonard Ave, just off Route 36 in the Town of Leonard.

Access: Grounds open, tower closed.View more Conover Beacon Lighthouse pictures

Tower Information
Tower Height: 40.00'
Focal Plane: 45'
Active Aid to Navigation: Deactivated (1957)
*Latitude: 40.42100 N
*Longitude: -74.05600 W
See this lighthouse on Google Maps.


* Please note that all GPS coordinates are approximated and are meant to put you in the vicinity of the lighthouse, not for navigation purposes.

** This year denotes a station date. This is the year that a lighthouse was first reported in the vicinity or at that location.

All photographs and information on this site is copyright © 2016 Bryan Penberthy unless otherwise specified. No content may be used without written permission. Any questions or comments, please email me.