Florida Lighthouses 2

Florida Lighthouse position Map

Some facts of interest

  • First lighthouse to use electricity - Statue of Liberty(1886)
  • First lighthouse - Boston, MA (1716)
  • There were many female lightkeepers.
  • Men Lightkeepers wore regulated uniforms.
  • Newest shore side lighthouse - Charleston, SC (1962)
  • Only triangular-shaped lighthouse tower - Charleston, SC (1962)
  • Only lighthouse equipped with an elevator - Charleston, SC (1962)

[Lighthouse Page 1]
[Augustin-Jean Fresnel -- Fresnel Lens] [Lighthouse Lights/Lamps] [Nils Gustaf Dalén] [The Lightkeeper -- Life and Duties]
[History of the Lighthouse] [Some Florida Lighthouse Facts] [History of the Lighthouse] [Links & Resources]
Different/Unusual/Interesting Looking ... Shaped Lighthouse
[Page 1] [Page 2] [Page 3] [Page 4] [Page 5] [Page 6] [Page 7] [Page 8] [Page 9] [Page 10]

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♥The light is destroyed.
This info is from: U.S.Coast Guard

Click image to see larger view and lighthouse today

Cape Florida-Built in 1825. First lit 1845

The 65-foot-tall of solid brick, 5 feet thick at the base. For years it guided the mariner as he
passed the dangerous Florida Reef and led him into Cape Florida Channel to a safe anchorage
from violent gales in the lee of Key Biscayne.
In 1836 a dramatic fight between Seminole Indians and the temporary keeper and his assistant,
John W. B. Thompson, led to an interior explosion heard 12 miles away. Rebuilt in 1846,
the tower was raised to 95 feet in 1855 and a second-order Fresnel lens was installed.
Damaged during the Civil War by Confederate sympathizers, it was relighted in 1867.
Replaced in 1878 by the Fowey Rocks light, the Cape Florida Lighthouse remained
darkened until activated again in 1978.
It now can be seen for a distance of seven miles. The lighthouse is in the Bill Baggs/Cape
Florida State Park and is open for tours. It was added to the National Register of
Historic Places in 1970.
Photo and info courtesy of: Florida Memory Project


♥Station Established: 1890
♥Operational? NO
♥Automated? 1918
♥Deactivated: 1943
♥Foundation Materials: IRON PILINGS
♥Construction Materials: WOODEN
♥The Charlotte Harbor Light was built on a similar plan to the 1890 Gasparilla Island Light.
♥The light is destroyed.

First Lit: 1878
1935 – A hurricane washed away the first deck of the lighthouse.
Automated 1874
1982 – Lighthouse converted to solar energy and the Fresnel lens was replaced by flash tube
array lamps. (Original lens is on display at the Coast Guard Aids to Navigation School in Yorktown, VA).
1983 – Flash tube array lamps replaced by 300 mm lantern which did not send the light out far enough, so it
was replaced by a 190 mm rotating lantern.
Photo used with permission of author: Tom Friedel

Right-Second Cape St.George Lighthouse -built in 1852
Middle-Tower leaning badly -- for larger view click image
Middle - Reconstruction in progress -- for larger view click image
Used with permission by Author Ebyabe

Right-- Newly restored

Station Established: 1833- First Lit: 1852
♥ The site was rebuilt in 1847 two miles from the original site on the cape which is the southern-most point of the island.
♥ Destructive winds toppled the tower in 1851. A new lighthouse was constructed 250-yards inland and it was placed into service in 1852.
♥The light was automated and crew removed in August, 1949.
♥ The Coast Guard disestablished the light as an active aid to navigation in 1994.
♥In 1995, Hurricane Opal caused the light tower to tilt about 10-degrees and was left sitting precariously along the water's edge.
♥ The Cape St. George Lighthouse Society raised $50,000 from local residents and $160,000 in state grants to fix the tilt of the tower in 2002.
²October 21, 2005 years of stress on the leaning tower apparently became too much, as the lighthouse toppled into the gulf at 11:45 a.m.
²On December 1, 2006, a replica of the Cape St. George Lighthouse's lantern was completed atop a custom-made platform in the County Park on St. George Island with hopes that work on construction of the new tower would begin the next year. Plans for the new tower were based on original drawings obtained from the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and ground was broken for the project on October 22, 2007.
²The St. George Lighthouse Association purchased a VLB-44 LED beacon from Vega Industries Limited of New Zealand, and at midnight on October 31, 2009 the Cape St. George Lighthouse was lighted for the first time since the lighthouse was decommissioned in 1994.
²This info is from: Lighthouse Friends
Left and Middle Photo courtesy of: Florida Memory Project


click image for more pictures

The historic Ponce de León Lighthouse
in Volusia. It dates back to 1887 and stands 175 ft high.

♥Station Established: 1835
♥Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1887
♥Operational? YES
♥ Automated? YES 1953
♥Deactivated: 1970-1982
♥Foundation Materials: BRICK
♥Construction Materials: BRICK
♥Tower Height: 45 feet
♥Tower Shape: CONICAL
♥Original Lens: First Order Fresnel, 1887
♥1835, February: Winslow Lewis completed the original 45-foot tall tower, at a cost of $7494. . William H. Williams was selected as the keeper. Oil never arrived and the lighthouse was never lit.
♥This light was known as the Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse named for the local town.
♥ 1835, October: A hurricane washed away the keeper's quarters and caused the lighthouse to lean.
♥1835, December 26: Seminole Indians attacked the lighthouse, smashing all the glass in the lantern and setting fire to its wooden stairs. The area was abandoned.
♥ 1836, April: Without repairs, the lighthouse was left to fall into the sea.
♥1883, March 21: Ten acres of land was purchased for a new lighthouse designed by Francis Hopkinson Smith.
♥ 1881, November 1: The new light (with a first order fixed Fresnel lens) was lit by keeper William Rowlinski.
♥1909: An incandescent oil vapor lamp replaced the kerosene lamp.
♥ 1925: Electricity was installed in the keeper's quarters via a generator. Previously a windmill provided power.
♥ 1927: The town of Mosquito Inlet changed its name to Ponce de Leon Inlet.
♥ 1933, August: The light in the tower was electrified with a 500-watt lamp. The First order lens was replaced with a third order revolving lens.
♥ 1939: The lighthouse was transferred to the Coast Guard.
♥ 1970: The US Coast Guard abandoned the station.
♥ 1972: The light was deeded to the town of Ponce Inlet. The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association was founded to assist the town with the restoration and management of the light station.
♥The lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
♥1982: The light was restored to active service.
♥ 2000 - 2001: Extensive renovations including the repainting the tower and restoring the lantern room to its original look was completed.
♥2002: The lighthouse and keeper's quarters are open to the public for touring. The keeper's quarters houses an extensive museum collection of lighthouse, sea and local history.

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Special Collections Department, University of South Florida. Digitization provided by the USF Libraries Digitization Center


Rebecca Shoals
♥Station Established: 1886

♥The first attempt to build this light was started in 1854 under the direction of
Lt. George Meade, but the construction was continually interrupted by storms.
♥The first tower was destroyed in 1858 before it was even completed. It was finally completed in 1886.
♥By 1953 the structure had deteriorated so much it was removed and a skeletal tower was placed on the original pilings. This was later replaced by another tower.
♥The skeletal tower was destroyed by a hurricane in 2004.
♥The original lens was moved to a private lighthouse in Key Largo.
♥There is currently another skeletal tower which displays a 250mm optic which flashes every 6 seconds and has
a range of approximately 9 miles.

¹ On August 1, 1925, the Rebecca Shoal Lighthouse was automated by the acetylene gas system, and keepers no longer had to risk their lives there. Deterioration and vandalism took their toll on the structure. In 1953, the house was removed, and the iron lantern was taken down and sold for scrap. Somehow, it survived and eventually found its way to the scrap iron dealer in Ocala where Mr. McGraw’s predecessor found it and brought it home to the Florida Keys to preserve.
¹David McGraw purchased the property a few years ago, the faux lighthouse had badly deteriorated. McGraw, however, was fascinated by the old lighthouse ruin and wisely decided to restore it.
¹Today, the faux lighthouse and its historic lantern are in excellent condition. The lighthouse was designated a “private aid to navigation.”
¹Although now located at the eastern rather than the western end of the Florida Keys, this lantern is all that remains today of the original Rebecca Shoal Lighthouse. Not even the original pilings remain. The entire foundation structure was replaced in 1985, and today’s Rebecca Shoal Lighthouse is simply an automated beacon mounted directly on the new iron screw-pile foundation.

Photo courtesy of:
U.S.Coast Guard

click image to see lighthouse today


♥Station Established: 1887
♥Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1887
♥ Operational: No
♥Deactivated: 1984
♥Foundation Materials: Pilings
♥Construction Materials: Cast iron
♥Tower Shape: Skeletal with central cylinder
♥ Height: 110-feet
♥Markings/Pattern: Brown with black lantern
♥Characteristics: Four grouped white flashes every 30 seconds; Became one red flash every 30 seconds in 1899.
♥ Original Lens: Third Order, Fresnel, 1887
♥Foghorn: None

♥Located on the remote island containing the Anclote Key State Preserve. This island is accessible only by boat.
♥ Modern navigation equipment made this lighthouse obsolete and it was decommissioned in 1984.

Photo courtesy of:
U.S.Coast Guard


Dry Tortugas -- Loggerhead Lighthouse

♥ Station Established: 1858
♥ Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1858
♥ Operational? YES
♥ Automated? 1988
♥ The light on Loggerhead Key is a 150-foot tall lighthouse. The walls were 3 feet 9 inches thick at the base and 2 feet 9 inches at the top. Outside it tapered from 28 feet at the base to 13 feet at the top.
♥ The light was seriously damaged in two hurricanes, one in October 1873 and one in September 1875. The light was considered essential so the funds were appropriated to repair the light.
♥ The light is the last lighthouse seen heading from Key West into the Gulf of Mexico
. ♥ The light is an active aid to navigation and not open to public.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Sea Seek


LEFT --( Boca Grande Light) Gasparilla Island Entrance Rear Range Light
RIGHT -- Port Boca Grande (Gasparilla Island)

♥ In the 1880’s large quantities of phosphate deposits were discovered in central Florida. To protect the increased shipping traffic Congress approved $35,000 to construct a lighthouse on Gasparilla Island. ♥ The Boca Grande Light was constructed in 1890 and was first lit on December 31 of that year. ♥ In 1932 a steel skeleton tower was built two miles north of the Boca Grande Light. The new tower is called the Boca Grande Rear Range Light. ♥ The Boca Grande Light was deactivated in 1966 and basically abandoned in 1967. In 1980 the Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association had the light listed on the National Register of Historic Places. ♥ The light was reinstated and now serves as an active aid to navigation. It is open to the public.

Left Photo courtesy of:
U.S.Coast Guard
Right Photo courtesy of: Florida Memory Project

Sombrero Key Lighthouse

♥Sombrero Key Light is in eight feet of water on an outer line of reefs. It had a group flashing white 45,000 candlepower and 3 red 13,000 candlepower sector lights. It stands 142 feet above water and is visible for 18 miles (as of 1968).
♥The 12-inch wrought-iron foundation-piles rest centrally on cast-iron disks 8 feet in diameter, and go 10 feet into the rock. They stand at the angles and center of an octagon 56 feet across and are braced by horizontal radial and periphery ties of 5-inch round iron. The frame rises from this foundation pyramidal in shape, in six sections, with a diameter of 56 feet at the bottom, tapering to 15 feet at the top. All the shafts, except those of the lower series, are of hollow cast-iron.
♥The keeper's dwelling, in the second section, is 30 feet square, and of boiler-iron lined with wood. A circular stairway ascended to the lantern, in a cylinder of boiler iron lined with wood.
♥The light was built under the direction of Lieutenant George G. Meade, AUS, at a cost of $153,159.41.
♥It was first lit on 17 March 1858

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States Federal Government under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.


Craysfort Reef Lighthouse

♥ Location: Carysfort Reef, near Key Largo
♥ Station Established: 1825
♥ Year Current / Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1852
♥ Operational: Yes
♥ Automated: 1960
♥ Deactivated: No
♥ Foundation Materials: Iron Screwpile
♥ Construction Materials: Iron
♥ Tower Shape: Skeletal Octagonal Pyramidal
♥ Tower Height:100 feet above water
♥ Markings/Pattern: Red
♥ Original Lens: First Order Revolving “HENRY LEPAUTE”

♥ The Craysfort Reef light was the third screw-pile lighthouse in the United States and the first of the giant screw-piles in Florida. ♥ The lighthouse was designed by George Meade. ♥ The light's characteristic was listed in 1933 as "3 flashes 0.7 sec. each, 2 eclipses 4.3 sec. each, 1 eclipse 9.3 sec. White from 211° to 22°, from 49° to 87°, and from 145° to 184°; red in intervening sectors." ♥ It is still an active aid for navigation.

Photo courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Central Library
No photographer name stated


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[Lighthouse Page 1]

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[Lighthouse -Background Sets]

[Augustin-Jean Fresnel -- Fresnel Lens] [Lighthouse Lights/Lamps] [Nils Gustaf Dalén]
[The Lightkeeper -- Life and Duties] [Some Florida Lighthouse Facts] [History of the Lighthouse] [Links & Resources]
Different/Unusual/Interesting Looking ...Shaped Lighthouse
[Page 1] [Page 2] [Page 3] [Page 4] [Page 5] [Page 6] [Page 7] [Page 8] [Page 9] [Page 10]

Preservation and Informational Lighthouse Sites
Florida Lighthouses. org
Florida Lighthouse Association

World Lighthouse Society

The American Lighthouse Coordinating Committee (ALCC)
The American Lighthouse
Coordinating Committee (ALCC)

American Lighthouse Fondation

Maritime Heritage -- Program National Park Service
Lighthouse Heritage

The Association of Lighthouse Keepers

U. S. Coast Guard -- LIGHTHOUSES,

World Lighthouse Society


--- Other Lighthouse Sites of Interest (Informational with Photos) ---

Lighthouse Friends

The Online List of Lighthouses

The Lighthouse Directory


Reference, Research and Source Information

Photos and information courtesy of: Exploring Florida

U.S.Coast Guard

¹This info is from:
Lighthouse Digest

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