The Tiny Army Village and Lighthouse with Big History

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A Trip to Sandy Hook

Update October 1, 2021, Sandy Hook Lighthouse will be open for tours!

Our first road trip of 2021 was a drive down to the Jersey Shore. We live over an hour away from any of the New Jersey Beaches, but we all had cabin fever and wanted to get out and take a drive. I have a few Lighthouses on my list that I want to visit and pictures of Fort Hancock were on my Instagram timeline daily.

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The weather was beautiful, the temperature was in the low 50s for January. It was a great day to go to the beach and have a history lesson at the same time. We enjoyed a smooth drive with no traffic and arrived on time per GPS.

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I have never been to Sandy Hook Beach, but during peak time there is a fee for parking. To our surprise, it was free entry. The crowd was not too busy, and people were wearing masks. It was windy, and I wish I would have brought a hat and gloves. The sun was shining bright so that kept me a little warm.

I love visiting and photographing abandoned places, so this was amazing. The ocean water was beautiful, the sky was so blue, and people were riding their bikes and walking the trails. There were even a few people out windsurfing in the ocean. I thought they were very brave because the water is cold right now.

We were able to get a parking spot right in front of the lighthouse. We walked around the area for an hour, would have been longer if my ears were not starting to freeze. At times, I would picture when the base was active and military personnel was walking around living their daily routines, someone walking the beach to capture the beautiful sunrise or sunset, or how it felt to be a child living on the base.


Fort Hancock is the former United States Army fort at Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Fort Hancock provided coastal defense for New York Harbor from 1895 until 1974. In 1874 the Sandy Hook Proving Ground was established as a weapons testing area, primarily for coast defense weapons. During the height of the Cold War, the fort housed Nike missiles prepared to intercept warplanes threatening New York City.

Fort Hancock consisted of 32 yellow brick buildings with green woodwork. This included the officer’s quarters, barracks, Bachelor Officers’ Quarters, post headquarters, hospital, guardhouse, quartermaster storehouse, and bakery. 

Building 25, holds a special place in history. During World War II, it was home to the 70 female recruits of Fort Hancock’s Women’s Army Corps (WAC) detachment. Women were expected to be in good health. They were not given jobs that required heavy labor or exertion. The educational requirements for WACs were to have earned a high school diploma, while men could enter the service without one. They wanted to serve and defend the United States just as the men were doing.

For more information before visiting please visit the following websites:,_New_Jersey

Fort Hancock

Fort Hancock

Sandy Hook Lighthouse

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The Sandy Hook Light was built in 1764 and is the oldest working lighthouse in the United States. The lighthouse is located at 85 Mercer Rd, Highlands, NJ 07732. The lighthouse is currently closed for entry. Sandy Hook Lighthouse consists of 95 steps.

The Sandy Hook Light tower is the oldest original tower still standing and in use in the United States. There is one keeper allowed to this station, composed of the main and two beacon lights, at a distance of about one mile the one from the other, containing 32 lamps and reflectors.

Sandy hook

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Sandy Hook Lighthouse

Check out some beautiful Lighthouses to visit in New Jersey!

Check out my visit to some lighthouses!

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