It has 500 years of history — going back to the 1520s when Giovanni da Verrazzano became the first European to explore our “Jersey Shore.” In November 1790, the US Congress gave jurisdiction of the lighthouse at Sandy Hook (and most of the surrounding area) to the federal government.
To me it will always be Sandy Hook. Others know it as Fort Hancock (the US Army and historians) or Gateway National Recreation Area (the National Park Service and 2+ million summer visitors).
I have found that its natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere can cure almost any case of the blues. Have a look at these Sandy Hook images and then go seek the peace for yourself. I’m always searching for more Sandy Hook-related photos and facts. If you have anything interesting to share please contact me HERE.
• Sandy Hook Lighthouse Photos — HERE
Sandy Hook aerial image, Winter 2012. Highlands-Sea Bright Bridge at the bottom.
Sandy Hook, 2020. Its geographic landform is known as a “barrier spit.”
“Mule Barn Tavern ” on Sandy Hook — it’s now being renovated to be new restaurant and bar opening soon, 2017 (Steven Markos Photo).
Fort Hancock Stable, built in 1899. The 6,000-square-foot building was called the “Mule Barn.”
Sandy Hook in all its glory, Fall 2021.
US Life-Saving Service Station on Sandy Hook, 1940s.
US Life-Saving Service Station on Sandy Hook, June 2021. Opened in 1894 as Spermaceti Cove #2. This Duluth-style building on Sandy Hook would later be a US Coast Guard station from 1915 to 1946. It was the National Park Service Visitor’s Center and museum from 1974 until Superstorm Sandy damages in 2012. It’s been rehabbed.
US Life-Saving Service Station on Sandy Hook, 2021. George Tolman designed the structure.
US Life-Saving Service Station on Sandy Hook, 2021 (Joe Paduano Photo).
US Life-Saving Service Station sketch, 2023 (Sandy Hook Foundation Photo). Revered as heroes of the Atlantic Coast, the surfmen’s motto was “you have to go out, but nothing says you have to come back.”
US Life-Saving Service Station on Sandy Hook (USLSS Heritage Association Photo). Using equipment like the beach-apparatus cart, lifeboat, Lyle Gun and breeches buoy, life-saving crews risked their lives in dangerous maritime rescues.
Look Out — View from the old US Life-Saving Station on Spermaceti Cove, April 2023. The Sandy Hook Foundation recently host its popular “Spring Soiree” there.
Starting Out — Dawn at Sandy Hook, March 2023 (Marianne Hoff Photo).
Sandy Hook State Park, 1960s postcard. The spot was a NJ state park from 1962 to 1974.
Sandy Hook State Park, 1962 postcard. Richard Riker was the first park superintendent.
Sandy Hook State Park, 1960s postcard. After opening in July 1962, the coastal park quickly became the state’s most visited.
Sandy Hook State Park, 1969 postcard. Offering fishing in the ocean or the river.
Sandy Hook, 1966 postcard. The park grounds covered 460-acres and 1,600-feet of beachfront.
Big Picture — NYC’s Manhattan Island looking south, March 2023 (HDK Photography). At the very top of the photo is the faint image of Sandy Hook, NJ.
Old Post Theater at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, December 2021 (Kevin Saunders Photo). Opened in 1933, it seated 300 soldiers.
Fort Hancock Post Theater, 1933.
Camp at Mortar Battery at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1911.
Sandy Hook area map, December 1878.
Sandy Hook coast survey map, December 1848. When Richard Hartshorne first acquired Sandy Hook in 1692 it was just 200 acres; it’s grown to over 2,000 acres now.
Rodman Gun on display at Sandy Hook, 1970s postcards. The 115,000-pound canon went operational in 1869.
Sandy Hook, Winter 2023 (StansPhotos.com).
Sandy Hook area map by D.H. Burr, 1834.
Fishing on Sandy Hook, Winter 2023 (Sean Kelly Photo). Fishing Reports from Sandy Hook — HERE.
Early days at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook sketch, 1900.
Coney Island “Wonder Wheel’ is visible from Sandy Hook, January 2023 (Ron Iacobucci Photo).
Old Guard — This US Army gun battery on Sandy Hook once protected NYC, Winter 2023 (Melissa Mohr Photo).
Getting In — Sandy Hook State Park, early 1960s.
Winter sunset along Officer’s Row on Sandy Hook, December 2022 (Kim Kenna-Demetrios Photo).
Design plans for Battery Halleck at Fort Hancock, 1900. Named to honor Civil War Major General Henry W. Halleck, the three-gun, 10-inch disappearing battery operated until 1942.
“Sandy Hook Foghorn” newspaper banner, August 1943. The official Fort Hancock weekly was managed by fort soldiers.
Fort Hancock Officer’s Club on Sandy Hook, April 1938. Completed by the US Army in 1879, the 12,000-square-foot structure still stands today.
Fort Hancock Officer’s Club sketch proposal, July 1878 (National Park Service). From 1919 to 1935 it was a US Army officer’s quarters.
Fort Hancock Officer’s Club, 1900 (National Park Service). Also called the “Brick House” — it’s the second oldest stone structure on Sandy Hook (after the lighthouse) MORE INFO.
Fort Hancock Officer’s Club current state, December 2022 (Kim Kenna-Demetrios Photo).
Fort Hancock Officer’s Club is sad shape, Spring 2023 (Geri Gary Photo).
Post Chapel at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1960s.
Post Chapel at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, Winter 2023 (Geri Gray Photo).
Guts of a Gun — Fort Hancock’s 9-Gun Battery on Sandy Hook, 1941.
Fire away — the US Army tests a big gun at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1912.
Both Barrels — US Army big gun at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, early 1900s.
Battery Potter at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook. Construction began in 1890 and the guns went silent in 1906.
Battery Potter at Fort Hancock, 2022. Named for Brigadier General Joseph H. Potter in March 1903, the nation’s first disappearing gun battery was powered by a steam hydraulic-lift system.
Fort Hancock Service Club, 1952 Christmas celebration.
Sandy Hook Proving Ground railroad and train, early 1900s.
Twin Lights looking out over Sandy Hook Bay, 1960s postcard.
Old US Life-Saving Station on Sandy Hook, Winter 2022 (Walt Bilous Photo).
Early times for the US Army at Fort Hancock, 1910s. Sandy Hook’s role in defending America’s top port officially ended in August 1974.
Fire & Ice — Christmas-time on Sandy Hook, 2022 (David Hawkins Photo).
Old US Life-Saving Station on Sandy Hook, November 2021 (Joe Paduano Photo). Built in 1894 along Spermaceti Cove, it was the National Park Service Visitor’s Center before Superstorm Sandy damage in October 2012.
Baywatch — Officer’s Row quarters along the bay, December 2022 (Joe Paduano Photo).
SS Sandy Hook, 1930s. The 2,000-passenger capacity steamship was built by the Central Railroad of New Jersey in 1889 for service between NYC and the Jersey Shore. It was scrapped in September 1951.
Sandy Salute! — Sandy Hook became a National Historic Landmark in December 1982. Officially, it’s the “Fort Hancock and Sandy Hook Proving Ground Historic District” and is one of 58 such in NJ MORE INFO.
George H. Moss, Jr. Museum at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1969 (Paul McLeod Photo). George was a very sharp and savvy guy. During World War II, he had been a cryptographer for the OSS (i.e., a code-breaker for the CIA).
Fort Hancock Post Headquarters, 1939 (Sandy Hook Foundation Photo). Also called the “Administration Building,” it opened in July 1899 and still stands today.
Post Headquarters at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1940s.
Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1940s.
“Sandy Hook and the Land of the Navesink” by Samuel S. Smith, 1963. MORE INFO.
National Park Service Headquarters building on Sandy Hook, 2014 (Stanley Kosinski Photo).
Old US Coast Guard Station on Sandy Hook, November 2022.
Post Chapel at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1941. Fort commanding officer Brig. Gen. Philip S. Gage (he had roomed with George Patton at West Point) opened the new army house of worship in December 1941. According to his 1982 New York Times obit, emphasizing the fort’s strategic importance, General Gage said: ”We are the gatekeepers of America’s front door.”
Old Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, early 1900s (John Schneider Photo). Fort Hancock was created in response to America’s increased need for harbor defense installations, according to NPS history. Although the order to build the Sandy Hook fort was issued in 1895, the post’s first garrison of US Artillery Corps troops did not arrive until March 1898 to man the gun batteries protecting New York Harbor.
Old Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, early 1900s (John Schneider Photo).
Autumn breeze pushes a sailboat past Sandy Hook, November 2022 (Ken Ostrom Photo).
NYC skyline seen from Sandy Hook, November 2022 (Gary Krzywicki Photo).
NYC skyline and Sandy Hook seen from Highlands, November 2022 (Pete Buoy Photo).
Weapons testing at Fort Hancock gun battery on Sandy Hook, 1907.
All the colors — a fabulous fall day on Sandy Hook, October 2022 (MAC Photography).
President Franklin D. Roosevelt arrives at Fort Hancock having disembarked the USS Lang, August 1939. From Sandy Hook a motorcade took FDR to the Red Bank train station and on to Washington, DC. He’d been on a fishing trip in Canada. Despite the happy greeting, legend is the president was shaken upon arrival after learning of the infamous Hitler-Stalin nonaggression pact — sometimes called “the kick-off to World War II.” (Beth Woolley Photo).
An Osprey atop an old Sandy Hook building, 2021. Also known as the “fish hawk” — the osprey is one of New Jersey’s largest raptors, according to the American Littoral Society. These magnificent birds of prey — once threatened in 1960s North America from pesticides — have been able to recover.
Old Fort Hancock Chapel on Sandy Hook, 2022.
Sandy Hook looking north, Summer 2019 (StansPhotos).
NYC skyline seen from Sandy Hook, Spring 2023.
Sandy Hook looking north, Winter 2021 (Brian Allen Photo).
Western Union Telegraph Company, Postal Telegraph Cable Company, Weather Bureau, and US Life-Saving Station on Sandy Hook, 1910.
Watch towers of the Western Union Telegraph Company and Postal Telegraph Cable Company on Sandy Hook, 1910s.
Hook Look — another grand view of the NYC skyline, October 2022.
Old Fort Hancock Hospital, 1950s. Built in 1898, it burned in 1985.
Old Fort Hancock Chapel on Sandy Hook, Fall 2022 (Ana Catarina Montes Photo).
Cold Warriors — the US Army ready and able at Fort Hancock, 1954 (Stanley Kosinski Photo).
Sandy Hook aerial image, 1970s.
End to End — Sandy Hook aerial image, 2022. A natural barrier spit, Sandy Hook is 6.5 miles long and up to 1 mile wide. It covers 2,044 acres.
Metropolis in Sight — A couple gets a NYC-skyline view from a quiet Sandy Hook beach, Sept. 2022 (David Kaston Photo).
NYC offers some 9/11 remembrance as seen from Sandy Hook beaches, Sept. 2022.
“Hook Look” — at the NYC skyline at dawn, September 2022 (Peter Elbert Photo).
SS Sandy Hook sketch, 1923. The Central Railroad of New Jersey built this 2,000-capacity steamship in 1889 for passenger service between New York City and the Jersey Shore. Once considered “a glamour girl,” it was scrapped in September 1951.
SS Sandy Hook ad, 1930s.
Old US Life-Saving Service Station #2 on Sandy Hook with the tip of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge visible in the distance, (Stanley Kosinski Photo), 2022. Built in 1894 on Spermaceti Cove, it also housed the Sandy Hook Visitor’s Center until wrecked by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
“Sandy Hook Lifeguard chair,” Summer 2022. Painting by Gregory Lewis.
Sandy Hook as “Sandy Point” and the Navesink Hills as “Renslows Hills” map, 1696 (Middletown Township Historical Society Photo).
US Life-Saving Service Station on Sandy Hook, 2000s. Called Spermaceti Cove #2, it opened in 1894. It was also a US Coast Guard station from 1915 to 1946. It was the National Park Service Visitor’s Center from 1974 until major damage by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
Battery Potter at Sandy Hook, August 2022 (Peter Elbert Photo).
“The new fort near Sandy Hook at the entrance to the Bay of New York,” April 1865. (NY Public Library Picture Collection).
Old US Army Officer’s Row along Sandy Hook Bay, 2022 (StansPhotos).
US Life-Saving Service shack on Sandy Hook, 1940s. Built in 1849, it was the first in the nation of its kind.
Old NIKE Missile, 2022. “Guardian Park” on Sandy Hook commemorates the Nike Missile Air Defense Era.
Nike Missile Monument during a Sandy Hook winter solstice sunset, 2022 (Liz Pavics Hilliard Photo).
In Position — NIKE Hercules Missiles, 1968-1969.
Ajax missiles in ready position at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1958. It was part of the New York Air Defenses — Nike Batteries that ringed New York City.
Fort Hancock Officer’s Quarters on Sandy Hook, 2022.
“King of the Hill” on Sandy Hook, Summer 2020 (Terrence Kennington Photo).
British schooner Henry R. Tilton damaged and beached off Sandy Hook, November 1898.
“Welcome to Sandy Hook” (Mike McGuire Photo).
Sandy Hook, 2011 (Chuck Maire Photo).
Sandy Hook and the NJ bayshore, 2011 (Chuck Maire Photo).
Sandy Hook tip end, 1916.
Jet Shot — Sandy Hook aerial image, July 4th weekend 2022 (Chuck Maire Photo).
Aerial image of Nine Gun Battery at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1942 (John Schneider Photo). The US Army began construction in 1897 and when completed in 1904, it was the longest gun battery ever built for harbor defense.
Post Hospital at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1942 (John Schneider Photo).
Fort Hancocok “No Trespassing — A great deal of the activities at the US Army base were top secret and highly classified.
Sandy Hook entrance, 2020 (Thomas Minton Photo). Our national park at the beach — is officially Gateway National Recreation Area.
Fort Hancock Trestle Guardhouse, 1911 (Thomas Smedley Photo).
Sandy Hook Proving Grounds entrance, 1911. Ordinance operations were ultimately moved to Aberdeen, Maryland.
Fort Hancock front gate entrance, 1940s. The fort was decommissioned in 1974.
Old Fort Hancock entrance gate, 1942. Started as the “Fort at Sandy Hook” in 1857, it was never completed. Unofficially it was called “Fort Lincoln” and “Fort Hudson” by the locals — before officially becoming Fort Hancock in 1895.
Getting in — Beginnings of a state park, 1960s.
On a clear day … NYC skyline seen from Sandy Hook, June 2022 (Randall Tomes Photo).
Sandy Hook aerial image, 2022.
Fort Hancock Guard House on Sandy Hook, April 1913. Built in 1899.
Fort Hancock Officer’s Club (or “Brick House”) on Sandy Hook, 1913.
Fort Hancock Officer’s Club is abandoned and overgrown — painting by Geri Gray.
Fort Hancock PX (Post Exchange) on Sandy Hook, 1940. Built in 1905.
Atlantic horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) on Sandy Hook, June 2022. These odd marine arthropods have been on Earth for about 450 million years.
Morning on Sandy Hook, June 2022.
US Army troops drill at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1940s.
Post Hospital at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1940s. Built in 1898; burned in 1985.
Dawn from Sandy Hook, May 2022.
Sandy to City, May 2022 (Russ Meseroll Photo).
The Line-Up — Officer’s Row along Sandy Hook Bay, May 2002 (Miguel Lasteros Photo).
View from Sandy Hook Lighthouse, 1953. The US Army official decommissioned Fort Hancock in December 1974.
Spring morning on Sandy Hook, April 2022 (Geri Gray Photo).
Sandy Hook postcard, 1987.
Movie star Lana Turner during a good-will tour of Fort Hancock with the post CO Brigadier General Phillip Gage (r), November 1941 (Bernard Duze Photo). The 5,000 US Army solders on Sandy Hook voted her “Sweetheart of Sandy Hook.”
Big Shot — During her visit to Fort Hancock the film star got a tour of an obsolete gun battery, November 1941.
Lana Turner (1921-1995). This small-town girl from Idaho became one of the highest-paid actresses in her prime and one of MGM’s biggest star. She also married seven times.
Sandy Hook seen from Twin Lights, 1908.
Old Sandy Hook snack-bar, 1978. Ed Segall ran the operation. In 1996, he opened the Sea Gulls’ Nest.
Sea Gulls’ Nest on Sandy Hook. The popular restaurant and bar was closed after Superstorm Sandy damage in October 2012 and torn down in 2019.
The Sea Gulls’ Nest was opened in 1996. It was run by Newark-native and WW II vet Ed Segall, who had been operating a Sandy Hook concession business since 1962.
Sea Gulls’ Nest under demolition, May 2019 (R.C. Moore Photo).
St. Patrick Day dance celebration in the Fort Hancock gym, March 1944.
Fort Hancock Baseball Team, 1941.
Fort Hancock, NJ., 1930s. Amidst “Officer’s Row” you’ll see two lighthouses in the image. At left is the granddaddy of them all, the “Sandy Hook Lighthouse” (still operating and America’s oldest). In the center is “Little Red Lighthouse.” Built in 1880, it reached 40-feet-high; it was removed in 1917.
Old US Coast Guard Station on Sandy Hook, 2022 (Geri Gray Photo).
“Hook Look,” March 2022 (Sharon Welsh Folk Photo).
Fort Hancock Officer’s Row house, March 2022. One of 18 buff-brick US Army officer’s quarters built along Hartshorne Drive from 1898-1899. After first scouting the area in 1896, Captain Arthur Murray was later credited for the overall layout and architectural design.
The Total Picture — Sandy Hook, 2000s.
On a clear day … the view from Sandy Hook to NYC, March 2020.
SS Sandy Hook, 1930s. The steamship was built in 1889 by the Central RR of New Jersey for passenger service between New York City and the Jersey Shore. After a fire in 1931, it was rebuilt and returned to service. It was sold for $35,000 in scrap in September 1951.
SS Sandy Hook, 1920s. According to a June 1946 Long Branch Daily Record story about its end of service, the vessel transported over 15 million passengers (and at least two US Presidents) from 1889 to 1941. With a capacity of 2,000, it was considered New York Harbor’s fastest and finest steamer — “a glamour girl.” The 270-foot-long boat — with ballroom and dining salon — cost $235,000 to build.
A grand view of Sandy Hook Bay, 2021 (John Schneider Photo). Below is the bayshore Borough of Highlands — incorporated in 1900, it has about 5,000 residents.
Sandy Hook sunrise, March 2022. The long pier is from US Naval Weapons Station Earle. Construction began in August 1943 and it’s still active. Basically, it’s a safe-distance munitions loading depot for any US Navy ship. Considered one of the world’s longest “finger piers” — it reaches out into Sandy Hook Bay for 2.2 miles.
Sandy Hook and US Navy pier aerial image, 2000s.
Sandy Hook aerial image, 2022. Henry Hudson, a British explorer working for the Dutch, first anchored his ship the Half-Moon in Sandy Hook Bay In September 1609.
Battery + Park — An old gun battery on Sandy Hook now used for summer beach parking, 2021.
“Confidential” aerial photo of Fort Hancock as it readied for a world war, September 1940 (John Schneider Photo).
The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge seen from Sandy Hook, 2022. When the span opened in 1964 the toll was 50 cents; today it’s $17.
Old Fort Hancock School, 2022. It had been the old fort chem lab (Geri Gray Photo).
Remains of the original five-sided granite “Fort at Sandy Hook,” begun in the 1857. Robert E. Lee — when a captain with the US Army Corps of Engineers — did the fort’s initial design in 1850.
Thomas Gordon map of New Jersey, 1828.
Sandy Hook and Lower New York Bay. The Gateway National Recreation Area — spanning 27,000 acres including parts of New Jersey and New York City – is the gateway from the ocean into New York Harbor. Besides the Sandy Hook Unit is the Staten Island Unit (with Fort Wadsworth, Miller Field, and Great Kills Park) and the Jamaica Bay Unit (with Floyd Bennett Field, Shirley Chisholm State Park, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Canarsie Pier, Breezy Point, Fort Tilden and Jacob Riis Park). Created in October 1972, more than 9 million visitors come to this urban oasis annually.
Sandy Hook State Park Authority sketch proposal for a new main bathhouse and restaurant, Long Branch Daily Record, July 1951.
Old Fort Hancock Officer’s Club, 2020.
A glorious winter sunset over Sandy Hook Bay, 2020 (Maureen Barrett Fecci Photo).
The Very Model — US Army Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, for whom the post was named in October 1895. Gen. Hancock served heroically during the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg.
The dashing General Winfield Scott Hancock, June 1864. He died in February 1886.
General Hancock during Civil War years, 1861-1865. He was the 1880 Democratic candidate for US President and was nearly elected. He lost to James Garfield by just 10,000 votes out more than 9.2 million cast nationally; but he did carry New Jersey.
General Hancock at the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1863.
Fort Hancock Post on Sandy Hook, NJ, 1930s.
Battery Potter decaying iron entry gate at old Fort Hancock, March 2022. (Wayne Londregan Photo). The nation’s first disappearing gun battery on Sandy Hook was powered by a steam hydraulic-lift system. Construction began in 1890 and the gun was considered obsolete upon its finish in 1894. It was named in honor of Brigadier General Joseph H. Potter in March 1903.
Sandy Hook postcard, 1970s.
Fort Hancock US Army barracks built for World War II mobilization, 1940s.
Sandy Hook peninsula and the Monmouth bayshore, 1972.
Nike Hercules missiles at Fort Hancock in firing position, 1960s. Fort Hancock’s battery of guided-missiles could reach speeds of 1,700 mph in under 4 seconds while carrying conventional or Nuclear warheads. “Nike” was the Greek Goddess of victory. Douglas Aircraft designed the rockets: the Ajax and Hercules.
NIKE Missile historic display on Sandy Hook, 2021. When Installation was complete in July 1955, the fort had an operational anti-aircraft missile system. All top-secret, guarded 24/7 by dogs. Project Nike had been developed at Bell Labs in 1945. A 700-troop anti-aircraft battalion was included.
Sandy Hook area — a lot to protect in a 1950s world. The Army thought a Sandy Hook rocket base the ideal spot to guard the New York metro area. When installed in 1957, the dart-shaped Nike missile could hit a hostile aircraft up to 75 miles away. The supersonic weapon destroyed targets through use of an “electronic brain” and “radar eye.”
Nike Launch Area at Fort Hancock, 1959 (NPS Photo). The development of the Soviet ICBM doomed Project NIKE — by the late 1960s, deep cuts were underway for the air defense system. It was all deactivated in 1974. At Cold War heights, in 1962 more than 200 Nike sites surrounded America’s most important strategic cities defending against Communist aggression. These “Rings of Supersonic Steel” — a 2010 book calls them — were part of the US Army Air Defense Command. The Fort Hancock Nike Association hopes to rebuild these memories — HERE
Sandy Hook. French map, 1778.
Sandy Hook. USGS map, 1908.
Old Glory — Fort Hancock Main Parade Field on Sandy Hook, NJ, 1905-10.
Old US Life-Saving Service station at Sandy Hook, 1910.
Post Hospital at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1950s. Designed by Stanford White in 1899, the building later became the Sandy Hook Marine Laboratory building. It burned in 1985.
Rough surf off Sandy Hook, November 2021.
“Battery Gunison” at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook postcard. In the background is the NYC skyline.
Coastal defense gun battery at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, early 1900s.
Long Line — Fort Hancock Officer’s Row, 2021. Beginning in 1896, a total of 18 buff brick officer’s quarters were built along Sandy Hook Bay. Many still stand today although largely neglected.
Post Hospital at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1940s.
US Army troops at their Fort Hancock barracks, 1940. First garrisoned in March 1898, the fort was decommissioned in 1974.
Officer’s Row houses on Sandy Hook, 2021.
Officer’s Row in winter, 2010s. The last official solider to leave Sandy Hook was in May 1953.
Officer’s Row houses in decline, 2021.
Old Sandy Hook lifeguard’s barracks, 2020.
Past & Present — Fort Hancock Radio Station building.
Fort Hancock Chapel on Sandy Hook, 2021 (Matthew Aberle Photo).
Reflections — at Sandy Hook Chapel, April 2022 (Kimberly Johnson Photo).
Sandy Hook Chapel (r) near the Rodman Gun (l), 1960s.
Old Sandy Hook Chapel at sunset, January 2023 (Neal Roser Photo).
Sandy Hook Chapel, May 2022 (Dorene Pen Knee).
One more — Fort Hancock Chapel on Sandy Hook, 1949 (Charles Hatch Photo).
Old US Coast Guard Station on Sandy Hook, from 1936.
US Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook, 1930s.
Fort Hancock Chapel, 1940s.
Fort Hancock Chapel on Sandy Hook, 1950s. The steeple was removed in 1975.
The old chapel is now just an all-purpose auditorium, 2022.
Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1930s. In 1937, the fort became a test spot for the Signal Corps — leading the way to radar development.
Gateway National Recreation Area, Sandy Hook Unit, 1980s.
Blacksmith’s Shop at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1909.
Movie star Lana Turner visits Fort Hancock soldiers on Sandy Hook, November 1941. A popular model and film actress, she died in 1995.
Fort Hancock coastal defense gun — “largest in the world,” 1909. Its target range was 20 miles.
Post Hospital at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, early 1900s.
Mortar Battery at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1909.
YMCA building at Fort Hancock, 1907.
Guard House at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1909.
Western Union and Postal Telegraph Towers on Sandy Hook, 1919.
Battalion formation at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1907.
Fort Hancock Ordnance Barracks, 1915.
US Weather Bureau and US Coast Guard Station on Sandy Hook, 1931.
Surfing with a view on Sandy Hook, August 2021.
Sandy Hook looking south to Highlands and Sea Bright, 1910s (John Schneider Photo).
“New fort near Sandy Hook, at the entrance to the Bay of New York.” 1865 (N.Y. Public Library Photo).
“After the Equinotial, off Sandy Hook.” Painting by Francis A. Silva, 1879.
Rodman Gun at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, 1970s. The post chapel is in the background. The gun was developed by General Thomas Rodman for use in the Civil War. It was 115,00 pounds with a 20-inch muzzle.
Another great “Hook Look,” July 2021 (Dustin Mathews Photo).
View from Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook, Summer 2021. Sandy Hook is in foreground; NYC in background. At 266-feet above sea level, Mt. Mitchill is the highest natural point on North America’s eastern seaboard.
McFly’s on the Hook, July 2021. Sandy Hook’s new convenience spot — offering an unusual array of food, snacks, beverages, and ice cream. Located in Building #53 near the historic lighthouse. MORE INFO.
Sandy Hook Lady, built in 1991. The 65-foot, paddle-wheel boat held 125 passengers and offered cruises on the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers. The boat owners were charged with dumping raw sewage into the bay in 1996.
The NYC skyline seen from Sandy Hook, 2021.
Battery Potter entrance at Fort Hancock, 1912. When completed in 1890, it was the first disappearing gun battery in the nation. By 1907, it was obsolete.
Twin Lights watches over Sandy Hook and Highlands.
Moon glow over the Hook, July 2021 (Ron Iacobucci Photo).
Video History of Sandy Hook, NJ by John Schneider — HERE
Seastreak Ferry passengers disembark at Sandy Hook docks, 2021.
Old Sandy Hook Marine Laboratory, 1961. The building was taken by arson in September 1985 and later replaced by the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory.
Old Sandy Hook Marine Laboratory building, 1969. Dr. Lionel A. Walford was the the lab’s first director. Designed by Stanford White in 1899, the building had been the post hospital.
Old Sandy Hook Marine Laboratory building in ruins after fire, September 1985. The lab and years of scientific research were destroyed by arson.
Sandy Hook: Let It Be — HERE
New James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory nearing completion, 1992. The 35,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art marine research facility opened in October 1993 at a cost of $19 million. Congressman Howard served the area in the US House of Representatives for nearly 25 years; he died in 1988.
Fort Hancock post hospital. Built in 1898, it had 50 beds. It burned in 1985.
The tip of Sandy Hook, 2021 (John Schneider Photo).
The tip of Sandy Hook, 1916 (John Schneider Photo).
Fort Hancock Officer’s Club, 1900. First opened in June 1879.
Fort Hancock Officer’s Club, 1922.
Fort Hancock Officer’s Club left to decay, June 2021.
Fort Hancock Post Headquarters, built in the late 1890s.
Fort Hancock Commanding Officer’s House, built in 1899. The US Army reached max at Sandy Hook during early World War II times when about 8,000 personnel military and civilian were stationed there.
Deer grazing at dusk on the Hook, June 2021 (Dennis T. O’Leary Jr.).
Fort Hancock housing, early 1900s.
Sandy Hook aerial image, 2020. The land is in Middletown Twp.
Sandy Hook area map, 1886.
Fort Hancock Post Exchange (PX). Opened in 1941, it was the military base shopping center.
US Army soldiers outside their barracks at Fort Hancock, 1920s.
Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge seen from Sandy Hook, 2020. It’s 8 miles from the end of the hook to the bridge. The double-decked, 13-lane bridge opened in November 1964. Othmar Ammann was the designer. The 4,260-foot-long span connects the NYC boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn.
MAST’s new naval science buildings under construction/repair on Sandy Hook, June 2021. The Marine Academy of Science and Technology is part of the excellent Monmouth County Vocational School District. Opened in 1981 — it’s high school education at its finest. And too many county families are unaware of their free high caliber offerings. For more info.
Old US Life-Saving Station at Sandy Hook, 2006. The nation’s first life-saving station was built on Sandy Hook in 1848.
Fort Hancock, 1930s. Military construction on Sandy Hook dates to 1857.
Fort Hancock Parade Grounds, early 1900s.
Hook Look — grand view of the NYC skyline, 2021 (MJ Connelly Photo).
Fort Hancock coastal defense gun — “biggest in the world,” 1903. Weight: 284,000 pounds. The M1895, 16-inch weapon had a firing range of 12 miles.
“Sergent’s Row” at Fort Hancock. Housing for non-commissioned officers with families stationed on Sandy Hook.
Fort Hancock Post Guardhouse and Jail, built in 1899. Today, it houses the Fort Hancock Museum.
National Park Service headquarters at Sandy Hook. Millions of people come to the national park to sun, swim, surf, boat, exercise, fish, and just relax.
Fire House No. 1 at Fort Hancock, 1940. The first of two firehouses built on the post opened in 1905.
Sunset on Sandy Hook, 2021.
Sandy Hook, 1962.
Sandy Hook steamer, 1932. “The swift way across the bay.”
“Sandy Hook Steamer Trips” schedule, 1937.
Sandy Hook “Flyer,” 1930s.
Train going to Sandy Hook, 1950s.
Fort Hancock Bachelors Officer’s Quarters, built in 1898.
Old Fort Hancock Dental Clinic.
US Army/Navy YMCA at Fort Hancock, 1915. William Forbes was the longtime YMCA director.
Sandy Hook coast and Officer’s Row, 2020.
Remains of the original five-sided granite fort at Sandy Hook, begun in the 1859. Robert E. Lee — when a captain with the US Army Corps of Engineers — did the fort’s initial design in 1850.
Sandy Hook, 2020. The peninsula is about 2,045 acres.
Sandy Hook satellite image, 1970s. The land is owned by the federal government and managed by the National Park Service as the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area.
Sandy Hook’s first vacation rental is a historic home along Officer’s Row at Fort Hancock — MORE INFO
Sandy Hook, 2017. The area was given National Historic Landmark status in December 1982.
Sandy Hook map, 1777.
Battery Mortar entrance on Sandy Hook, 2021.
Battery Fremont Peck on Sandy Hook, 2021.
Fort Hancock gun battery. The area was an ordinance proving ground from 1874 to 1919.
Battery Proof at the Sandy Hook Proving Ground, 1902. The range was 3,000 yards.
Gun Park at the Sandy Hook Proving Ground, early 1900s.
Battery Granger and gun crew, 1910. Built in 1897, its 10-inch gun could hit targets 8 miles out to sea.
Battery Potter entrance, 2010. Named in honor of General Joseph Potter, who served gallantly in the Union Army during the Civil War.
Sandy Hook aerial image, 2000s.
• Historic Resource Study (1990): Gateway: Fort Hancock/1895-1948 — HERE
• Sandy Hook Proving Ground — HERE
• Fort Hancock Walking Tour — HERE
• Sandy Hook Foundation — HERE