Thursday, April 15, 2010


The Lighthouse
by Becky Jennings

The mighty lighthouse stands secure,
Undaunted by the restless sea;
Ravaged by the changing tides
And buffeted by winds blown free.

Yet, it sheds its beacon straight and true,
Unfaltering in the bleakest night,
Guiding every passing ship
Uncertain of the course that's right.

May we be diligent and true,
Dedicated to the right
And like the stalwart lighthouse stand
A beacon in the darkest night.

Built 1833 at West Pass (#1)
Rebuilt at Cape St. George in 1848 (#2)
Fell during hurricane in 1851
Rebuilt 1852 (#3)
Automated in 1949
Deactivated in 1994
Collapsed 2005
Rebuilt in 2008 at the center of St. George Island
92 stairs to the top

Remnants of the historic structure (bricks) were used in the construction of all three lighthouses including the present structure. Over 22,000 original bricks were cleaned of old mortar by volunteers.

Built in 1895 (Replaced Dog Island Lighthouse destroyed in a hurricane.)
Automated in 1933
Decommissioned in 1995
Restored and relighted 2007
138 steps to the top

Despite being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Coast Guard planned to surplus the lighthouse and sell it to the highest bidder. The Carrabelle Lighthouse Assoc. was formed  in 1999 and after years of effort, the Assoc. obtained ownership of the cast iron skeletal tower. The lighthouse was restored, relighted and a new park was opened to the public in 2007.

Built at Cape San Blas in 1849; an 85-foot conical brick tower (#1)
oot Destroyed by Storm in 1851
Replaced in 1856 with similar brick tower (#2)
Destroyed by Storm a few months later
Rebuilt in1857 (#3)
Damaged during Civil War
Toppled by beach erosion in 1882
Replaced in 1883 with a 98 foot cast iron skeletal lighthouse (#4)
Damaged by Storm in 1894 and left standing in water due to erosion
Moved 1/4 mile in 1918
Relighted 1919

The lighthouse is still operational and now stands on Eglin Air Force property.

Needless to say, I'm a fan of lighthouses and love their stories. There is romance in knowing that a beacon of light will guide you safely home. Even though with today's technology, that beacon probably is not what brings 
travelers safely to harbor, it is reassuring to still see them in the landscape. Hurray for all those volunteers and foundations that work so hard to allow them to remain as storytellers of a time when light keepers kept vigil and ships were warned away from dangerous reefs and rocks. 

There is one more lighthouse along the road of  Forgotten Florida, the St. Marks Lighthouse. But visiting there will have to wait for another trip.


  1. This is another beautiful and interesting and informative post. I too like lighthouses very much because there is something special in them that I cannot explain with the words. This series of photos is really beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Collapsed? Wow, good that it wasn't in use anymore. I love lighthouses so I can't but love this post!

  3. Fabulous! Well, well done. I love how the people would not let the lighthouses die.

    Great shots, great stories. As a child, when we traveled the pacific coast, we'd stop and tour every lighthouse. How magical to be in a round, tall, skinny building whose purpose is to guide men to safety.


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