Book shines light on Hereford Inlet Lighthouse

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“Guardians of Hereford Inlet” details the history of the 1874 Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, the Anglesea Life Saving Station and the U.S. Coast Guard Life Boat Station. “Guardians of Hereford Inlet” details the history of the 1874 Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, the Anglesea Life Saving Station and the U.S. Coast Guard Life Boat Station.

NORTH WILDWOOD—Steve Murray has talked to tourists about the history of the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse and its colorful gardens for almost 25 years. Now they and others can take the history home with them and read about it in a new information-packed 200-page book Murray has written and had published.

Murray retired New Year’s Eve as North Wildwood’s superintendent of parks, a full-time job that included his direct involvement with the restoration of the lighthouse and the conversion of its sandy grounds into gardens. He, in fact, was one of the catalysts to make this happen.

But while he has retired from the job he held since 1986, Murray’s heart is still with the lighthouse, one of the loves of his life, and he contributes to its upkeep. During the first seven months of 2010 he put the finishing touches to his book, “Guardians of the Hereford Inlet,” a handsome coffee-table book that is perhaps the most comprehensive book in text and pictures that has ever been published about the circa 1874 lighthouse. It has taken him three years to research and write the book.

“After much prodding by a few friends, I finally decided to begin to write a book about the lighthouse,” Murray says in the book’s introduction. “Because of all the complexly interrelated history of the lighthouse, the Anglesea Life Saving Station and the Coast Guard Life Boat Station, the book became a history of all three.”

Murray, who earlier in life had hoped to be an archaeologist but now is digging for facts, contends that “it is our sacred duty to document this history.”

“We owe it just as much to the men and women who were part of the history here, as we do to future generations,” he says. “Those of us involved with the lighthouse now are in effect guardians of the ‘Guardians of the Hereford Inlet’”

The book, which contains many researched photos – some rarely having been shown publicly – details the emergence of the lighthouse, its early struggles and its revitalization through the efforts of then Mayor Anthony Catanoso and his wife, Phyllis.

The book, priced at $25, may be purchased at the lighthouse, which is situated at the northern end of Central Avenue. It is an attractive reading piece and worthy of the attention of fans of lighthouses as well as others. All proceeds benefit the lighthouse.

 


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