For enthusiasts and collectors, the Pennsylvania Horseshoe Front Range Lighthouse is a terrific piece to see. The actual original structure was replaced with a skeleton tower before being demolished, so only photographs remain today. Artists have been able to craft pieces that closely resemble the tower that once stood.
The West bank of the Delaware River was once dotted with small lighthouse towers. In recent decades, they have been replaced by large oil refineries and other industrial buildings. Historical Coast Guard photos show that this specific tower was a square pyramid shape constructed out of wood and painted white.
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The reason that this particular tower stood out amongst the others was that it had a third light. In addition to the two lights for the front range, this third one was meant to warn oncoming boats that they needed to make a very slight turn so that they could avoid the river shoals that posed a danger. It served a very important purpose for mariners at one time.
The Delaware River was, and still is, a very important and heavily used waterway along the East Coast. It runs alongside Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Delaware in the tri-state area. This route allows the shipping of goods and oil to occur with relative ease.
Many of the towers along this particular route have been demolished and forgotten. They remain only in memories, photos, and small sculptures and artist renderings. For art collectors, it is necessary to remember the purpose behind these buildings and to appreciate the many years of service that they gave.
What makes these towers particularly interesting is that they are so unexpected. Many residents today may not even be aware that they once dotted the riverbank, as it has been decades since the oil refineries and factories have gone up. Lightkeeper’s houses were also constructed nearby, and could house a whole family at once.
At its base, this particular lighthouse was seventeen feet by seventeen feet square. The lantern room housed the 4th order Fresnel lens that emitted a white, fixed light beam. The two front lights were fixed on a levee at the river’s edge.
The last tower disappeared from this area of the state in 1920. This specific lighthouse tower, and the importance that it once held, can be remembered today through a finely crafted work of art. The Pennsylvania Horseshoe Front Range Lighthouse is a beautiful piece for any collector to own.