People: Neil Burgess
Neil Burgess (1856-1910)
For two decades starting in the early 1880s, one of the most famous actors in America lived just a few hundred yards from the Twin Lights. Though almost forgotten today, in his time Burgess was the country's top female impersonator. He played old women and spinsters (Widdy Women in the parlance of the time) in a number of stage productions, including The County Fair, that were immensely popular with family audiences.
Off the stage and out of makeup, Burgess was almost unrecognizable. He and his wife, Mary, purchased a considerable amount of property around the Twin Lights and were solid citizens in every way. The turreted house they built on Navesink Avenue was one of the loveliest in town.
Burgess died in 1910 in New York. His body was brought back to the area and he was buried in the cemetery at the Stone Church in Navesink. A grand monument marks his final resting place.