• U.S.

National Affairs: Lighthouses for Sale

2 minute read

FOR SALE: Cedar Island, .947 acre off Cedar Point, L. I., in the strait between Gardiners Bay and Shelter Island Sound. Includes historic, 97-year-old lighthouse and nine-room granite keeper’s house. No conveniences, but ideal for recluse, romantic or for summer home. Send bid before Jan. 15 to U. S. Treasury Dept., Washington, D. C.

Such an advertisement might have appeared in the press last week if Secretary Morgenthau had been unable to get free publicity by a simple announcement. Replaced by a modern automatic light on a breakwater several hundred feet beyond it and turned over to the Treasury as “surplus property,” the Cedar Island light was to become the latest of some 100 abandoned lighthouses sold to private owners since the U. S. lighthouse service was created in 1910.

Treasury officials expect the island to bring about $4,000. The average lighthouse sells for $1,750 to $2,500. Last sales were in July 1935 when five Maine lights went at prices ranging from $652 to $4,100. Expected to be a notable exception is Atlantic City’s 82-year-old Absecon Lighthouse, also up for sale last week with bidding to close Jan. 5. After erosion had left the 167-ft. tower a perilous 75 ft. from shore, jetties were built, the sea restored its sand, the city sprawled out over the new land. Now Absecon stands 1,500 ft. from shore, its ocean view blocked by tall apartment houses and hotels. Its 1½acres which cost $520 in 1854 are now appraised at $312,450; with tower and two cottages, at $414,450. First three prospective purchasers to inspect it were night club proprietors.

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