The first light was established at Barnegat Inlet in 1835. It was of interior construction and lasted only 20 years before it topped into the sea during a storm. Barnegat Light has stood the test of time and weather for more than 140 years, no doubt due to its solid construction. Turned over to the State of New Jersey in 1926, the station was replaced by the Barnegat Lightship and temporary placed out of service. Shortly thereafter, the first-order Fresnel lens was replaced by a gas-fired blinking lamp. A few weeks later, although electricity made its debut at Barnegat, the beacon was downgraded dramatically from its peak performance level Finally, in 1944, near the close of the Second World War, ?Old Barny? was retired from the lighthouse service. In 1988, Barnegat Light was closed to visitors. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has since made tremendous efforts to repair and restore the historic sentinel, and in 1991, the tower was reopened to the public.