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Ten Historic Facts about Highlands, NJ

  1. The highest point of land on the coast from Texas to Maine is in Highlands (226 feet above sea level.)

  2. The first land sighted by millions of immigrants approaching America was the hills of Highlands.

  3. Giovanni da Verrazano of Florence was the first European explorer to describe in 1524 the geography of the Highlands.

  4. In September of 1609 Henry Hudson made extensive explorations of the Highlands area, climbed the Highlands hills, and traded with the Navesink Lenape Indians. His crewman, John Colman, was the first European to die in the new world of America and was buried on Sandy Hook.

  5. The first European settlement in Highlands was in 1678 when Richard Hartshorne built his home at Portland on the Highlands peninsula.

  6. On April 12, 1782 revolutionary war Patriot Capt. Joshua Huddy was hanged unjustly by loyalists forces in Highlands near Huddy Park, touching off a major international incident.

  7. After the battle of Monmouth the British army under General Clinton camped in and around the Highlands awaiting a crossing to safety and evacuation to New York from the loyalist stronghold on Sandy Hook.

  8. James Fennimore Cooper in 1830 used the hills of Highlands as the settling for his novel, The Water Witch.

  9. The Twin Lights, built in Highlands in 1862, was the first lighthouse to use kerosene, electricity, and the French Fresnel lens to reach out some 22 miles at sea. It was the site of Guglielmo Marconi's first practical radio demonstration in America in 1899 and the site of America's first radar experiments in the mid 1930s.

  10. Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926, spent her summers in Highlands where she trained in the challenging currents beneath the Highlands bridge.