Posted by: Manasquan Life Saving Station | March 21, 2009

Step Into the Past and Relive Our Heritage with the Sea…

Broken spars.Cries for help in the darkness of icy-cold salt breakwaters.A lantern of hope.A handful of brave men.The Amity.The lifecar.The Lyle gun.The breeches buoy.

All of these come to mind when thoughts turn to the historic significance of the Squan Beach Life-Saving Station.

Shipping and farming were the backbone of this coastal community.You see it in the sea captains’ names on the street signs, you drive past their homes.The Squan Beach Life-Saving Station is not just a building; it is the core representation of our heritage.The Founding Fathers of this borough put their lives in the balance to save others at sea, serving as volunteers in the capacity, long before the government paid anyone to keep watch at sea.Many of the descendants of those keepers, wreckmasters, and surfmen still reside in Manasquan.

One such example of this heroism may be summed up with a brief story…the story of how on June 13, 1903, four men risked their lives to save five others – one of those lifesavers was the Squan Beach Life Saving Station Keeper Robert Longstreet.It was for Keeper Longstreet’s heroism that Congress awarded gold lifesaving medals to him, John Andersen, and Charles Bowker, plus a silver medal to Harry Andersen.It is essential that this landmark property be preserved to remind, to illustrate, and to celebrate this and the many other stories of heroism demonstrated at the Squan Beach Life-Saving Station.

The Squan Beach Life-Saving Station will serve as a unique, historic focal point for the Borough of Manasquan as well as a destination for those who are interested in maritime history.As other Duluth-type stations in the state have succumbed to demolition and new development, or private homes or club headquarters, Manasquan has been given a special opportunity to save the station and open it to the public at its original location and honoring what it was originally intended.