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Twin Lights Museum opens with new exhibits

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The Twin Lights Museum in Highlands in northern Monmouth County is now open Wednesday through Sunday with new exhibits, a museum store and the added opportunity for all who want to climb the north and south towers.

New exhibits at the museum include an interactive navigation exhibit in the foyer of the South Tower, featuring some of the tools used by earlier mariners, with written directions about how they were used, according to a press release.

The exhibit includes a sextant, a compass and a chronometer, and the foyer also features an interactive wall where visitors can highlight the paths of all the waterways surrounding the Twin Lights area.

The auditorium, which is open for scheduled small scale meetings, parties and private events, features an exhibit about Highlands and its local residents who have made a historic impact on the area in the fields of athletics, hotel management, preservation of Twin Lights history, Prohibition and local industry, according to the press release.

Some of the people featured include Trudy Ederle, Chris Kohlenbush, Blub Parker, Joshua Huddy and more. One exhibit features the late Esther Bolster, a Highlands resident who headed the commission responsible for saving the lighthouse after it was decommissioned.

Also new this year are several exhibits focusing on the former Sandlass Beach Club, one of the most popular amusement areas in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The beach club was located across the Navesink River from the Twin Lights in Sea Bright, at what is now the entrance to Gateway National Recreation Area.

The new exhibits were researched, designed and created through a working relationship between historians Nicholas Wood of the New Jersey State Park Service, Jenna Paterno of the Twin Lights Historical Society and Walt Guenther of the Historical Society of Highlands.

The exhibit was funded through the support of the New Jersey State Park Service, according to the press release.

The museum and grounds are free to enjoy. Tickets available in the South Tower entrance grant visitors access to climbing both towers as many times as they want that day. Tower admission is $5 per adult and $2 per child 12 years old and under.

Private tours are available at $12 per adult and no charge for children under 10 when accompanied by adults.

Tours include stories of the events, people and materials that made the Twin Lights famous for almost two centuries, including Marconi’s wireless telegraph, the connection between the Pledge of Allegiance and the Twin Lights, and the Fresnel lens.

The museum store features merchandise with the new 2021 logo of the Twin Lights. Books by local authors, jewelry, activities for children and more are all in store. Museum volunteer workers have the new log available for stamping U.S. Lighthouse Passports.

The Twin Lights State Historic Site is owned and operated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. For further information, visit Twin Lights Historical Society on Facebook, visit https://www.twinlightslighthouse.org/ or call 732-872-1814.

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