The highest point of land on the coast from Texas to Maine is in Highlands
(226 feet above sea level.)
The first land sighted by millions of immigrants approaching America was
the hills of Highlands.
Giovanni da Verrazano of Florence was the first European explorer to describe
in 1524 the geography of the Highlands.
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.
The first European settlement in Highlands was in 1678 when Richard Hartshorne
built his home at Portland on the Highlands peninsula.
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.
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.
James Fennimore Cooper in 1830 used the hills of Highlands as the settling
for his novel, The Water Witch.
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.
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.