Lighthouses of the United States: Western Florida
Most of the U.S. state of Florida occupies a long peninsula separating
the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico; the state's western "panhandle"
extends westward along the Gulf coast. As a result, Florida has by
far the longest coastline of any state of the eastern U.S. Nearly all
of the coast is low and sandy, broken occasionally by narrow inlets.
For visibility at a distance, the Florida coast requires tall lighthouses.
Florida has about three dozen lighthouses, including several of the country's
most famous light towers. The Florida Lighthouse Association (FLA) works
for preservation of all the light stations. Nearly all the onshore stations
are now supported by local lighthouse societies. Efforts of FLA and local
associations have led to restoration projects undertaken or planned at
most of the onshore lighthouses. Few states have worked as hard on lighthouse
preservation as Florida in recent years.
This page covers lighthouses of Florida's west coast, facing the Gulf
of Mexico. There's another page for the East Coast and
Note: Construction of a new
lighthouse at Panama City was scheduled to begin in June 2011.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume J of the
Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. USCG numbers are from
Volume III of the U.S. Coast Guard Light List for lights of the
peninsula and from Volume IV for lights of the state's western panhandle.
- General Sources
- Florida Lighthouse
- The association works hard for the preservation of lighthouses
throughout the state and has encouraged the formation of a number of
local preservation societies. The web site includes a lighthouse
page with information on all the lights.
- Excellent photos and visitor accounts for most of the lighthouses,
posted by Kraig Anderson.
- Lighthouses in Florida
- Photos avalable from Wikimedia.
in Florida, United States
- Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
- Online List
of Lights - U.S. - Florida West Coast
- Photos posted by Alexander Trabas.
- Lighthouses Florida West Coast
- A large portfolio of photos by Rosalie Beasley.
Light Station Information and Photography - Florida
- Information and historic photos posted by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Maritime Inventory - Florida
- National Park Service inventory of Florida lighthouse data.
- Photos and information from Stephen Wilmoth's "Beach Bum"
Maritime Heritage Trail - Lighthouses
- A site posted by the Florida Division of Historical Resources; it
has photos and brief accounts for all the lighthouses of the state,
with visitor information.
- Roger Bansemer's
Lighthouses of the South
- Bansemer is an artist and author active in lighthouse preservation;
his site has excellent information on Florida lighthouses.
- This site by Bill Britten, of the University of Tennesee, has some
- A nice site by Bryan Penberthy, with photos of many of the lighthouses
including some of the offshore lights.
USA auf historischen Postkarten
- Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Crooked River Light, Carrabelle, March 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Ebyabe
Sanibel Island Light, Sanibel, April 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Pete Markham
- Collier County Lighthouse
- * Sanibel
- 1884. Active; focal plane 98 ft (30 m); two white flashes every 6 s. 102
ft (31 m) square pyramidal skeletal tower
with central cylinder, painted brown; Tidelands 300 mm lens (1965). Since 1982, the two 1-story
square West Indian wood keeper's houses have provided housing for city employees,
who also maintain the light station. A 3rd order Fresnel lens similar to the
original lens is on display at the Sanibel Historical Museum, along with a
500 mm lens used 1962-1965. Pete Markham's photo is above right, Carol Vinzant has a good 2011 photo, Wikimedia has numerous photos, the Coast Guard has a historic
photo taken in 1933, Lighthouse Digest has a article on the history
of the light station, and Google has a satellite
view. This lighthouse was the first of a class of skeletal lighthouses
built in many parts of the country. The light station property was transferred to the Bureau of Land Management in 2000 and leased to the City of Sanibel. In early
2008, the city and the Sanibel Historic Committee were anticipating ownership
of the lighthouse and planning its restoration. After several delays, the
transfer of ownership was finally completed in April 2010. In 2013, the city contracted for removal of lead-based paint and repainting.
Located at the end of Periwinkle Way at Point Ybel on the eastern
tip of Sanibel Island. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: City
of Sanibel. ARLHS USA-734; Admiralty J3086; USCG 3-1245.
Lee County Lighthouses
- **** Boca
Grande (Port Boca Grande, Gasparilla Island)
- 1890. Reactivated (inactive 1966-1986); focal plane 41 ft; white
light occulted every 4 s. 44 ft (13.5 m) square cylindrical tower
and lantern centered on the roof of a square wood West Indian keeper's
house (very similar to Sanibel Island and Key West keeper's house);
5th order drum-style Fresnel lens. Lighthouse painted white. A photo
is at right, Wikimedia has additional photos, Trabas has a photo, the Coast Guard has a historic
photo, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, and Google has a fine satellite
view. The building was critically endangered by abandonment and
beach erosion when Lee County took title to it in 1972. Restored
in 1985-86, the building is a museum. The assistant keeper's house,
identical except for the lantern, is a park ranger residence. The
light station survived a nearly direct hit from Hurricane Charley
on August 13, 2004; the catwalk and two cedar cisterns were destroyed.
The lighthouse was closed in the summer of 2012 for repairs and repainting; it reopened in September. Located at the southern end of Gasparilla Island in Gasparilla
Island State Park (entry fee), accessible by toll road from the
mainland. Site open; lighthouse open daily November through April and
Wednesday through Sunday May through July, September and October; closed in August. Owner: State of Florida.
Site manager: Boca
Grande Lighthouse Museum. ARLHS USA-910; Admiralty J3110; USCG
- * Gasparilla
Island (Boca Grande Entrance Range Rear)
- 1881 (relocated here in 1927 but not lit until 1932). Active; focal plane
105 ft (32 m); white or red light, depending on direction, 3 s on, 3 s off.
100 ft (30.5 m) hexagonal pyramidal skeletal
tower with central cylinder, all painted white; Tidelands 250 mm lens. Trabas
has a good photo,
Bryan Penberthy also has a good photo,
the Coast Guard has a historic
photo, and Google has a good satellite
view. This tower was built in 1881 as the Delaware Breakwater Range Rear
light at Lewes, Delaware; disassembled in 1921, it was
rebuilt in Florida in 1927. Not manned separately in Florida, it was maintained
by keepers from the older Port Boca Grande station. In 2003, the front range
light was discontinued and this lighthouse was officially renamed the Gasparilla
Island Light, the name the Port Boca Grande lighthouse had prior to its deactivation
in 1966. In 2004 the Coast Guard announced plans to deactivate the light,
but scrapped them after public protests. There are troubling reports that
the tower, now managed by Florida State Parks, is in poor condition. Located
on Gulf Boulevard at Wheeler Road on Gasparilla Island, north of the 1890
lighthouse. Site open (area entry fee), tower closed. Owner: State of Florida.
Site manager: Gasparilla
Island State Park. ARLHS USA-066; Admiralty J3100.1; USCG 3-1310.
Boca Grande Light, Gasparilla Island, October 2010
Commons photo by Ebyabe
Manatee County Lighthouses
Note: Port Manatee is a cargo port
on the southeastern shore of Tampa Bay, in northern Manatee County about 8
miles (13 km) north of Bradenton.
Port Manatee Inbound Range Front
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 142 ft (43 m); quick-flashing green light
at night, continuous white light in the daytime, visible only on the range
line. Approx. 138 ft (42 m) triangular skeletal tower, painted with red and
white horizontal bands. Trabas has a photo,
and Google has a satellite
view. Located in the center of Port Manatee. Site and tower closed. Admiralty
J3157; USCG 3-22505.
- Port Manatee Inbound Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 196 ft (60 m); green light 3 s on, 3 s
off at night, continuous white light in the daytime, visible only on the range
line. Approx. 187 ft (57 m) triangular skeletal tower, painted with red and
white horizontal bands. Trabas has a photo,
Beasley has a photo, and
Google has a satellite
view. Located 2300 ft (700 m) east southeast of the front light. Site
and tower closed. Admiralty J3157.01; USCG 3-22510.
Hillsborough County (Tampa Area) Lighthouses
- Big Bend East Range Front
- Date unknown. Active (privately maintained); focal plane about 100 ft (30
m); quick-flashing red light. Approx. 100 ft (30 m) square skeletal tower.
The tower also carries a rectangular daymark painted red with a white vertical
stripe. Trabas has a photo,
Beasley has a photo, and
Google has a satellite
view. This range guides vessels to the docks of the Mosaic Company, which
ships phosphate, fertilizer, and other agricultural products. Located adjacent
to a quay at Big Bend, on the east side of Tampa Bay between Gibsonton and
Apollo Beach. Site and tower closed. Owner/operator: Mosaic
Company. Admiralty J3228; USCG 3-23130.
- Big Bend East Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active (privately maintained); focal plane about 120 ft (37
m); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. Approx. 100 ft (30 m) square skeletal tower.
The tower, one of three identical radio or TV transmission towers, also
carries a rectangular daymark painted red with a white vertical stripe.
Trabas has a photo,
Beasley has a photo, and Google has a satellite
view. Located on the east side of US 41 near Pembroke Road. Site and
tower closed. Owner/operator: Mosaic
Admiralty J3228.1; USCG 3-23140.
- * Hillsborough Bay Cut C Inbound Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 100 ft (30.5 m); green light at night
and white light by day, 3 s on, 3 s off, visible only on the range line. Approx.
82 ft (25 m) triangular skeletal tower with gallery. Trabas has a distant photo by Capt. Theo Hinrichs,
and Google has a satellite
view. This range is the final approach to Tampa through Hillsborough Bay,
the northeastern arm of Tampa Bay. Located in an industrial area between Guy
Verger and Maritime Boulevards in the Tampa harbor area. Site open, tower
closed. Admiralty J3240.1; USCG 3-23440.
- Tampa Bay Cut K Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 69 ft (21 m); green light, 3 s on, 3 s
off, visible only on the range line; also a passing light, white flash every
6 s. 69 ft (21 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower mounted on a square platform
supported by piles. Trabas has a photo,
and the lighthouse is visible in a Google satellite
view. This light is typical of roughly a dozen range lighthouses at various
locations in Tampa Bay. Located about 1100 ft (350 m) southwest of the Tyson
Avenue piers, south of the east end of the Gandy Bridge (US 92) over Old Tampa
Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J3208.41;
Pinellas County (St. Petersburg Area) Lighthouses
- 1858 (station established 1848). Active; focal plane 85 ft (26 m); white
flash every 15 s. 87 ft (26.5 m) early
classic brick tower, painted white, lantern removed; Carlisle and Finch
DCB-24 aerobeacon atop the capped tower. Chris Zúniga's photo is at right, a closeup photo is available, Jackson Moore has a 2008 photo, Trabas has a photo by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, Marinas.com has aerial
photos, Lighthouse Digest has an article on the history of the station, and Google has a satellite
view. The lantern was removed in 1944; the Coast Guard has a historic
photo of the lighthouse before the removal, and Huelse has a postcard
view. The lighthouse is believed to be the oldest building in the Tampa
area. The Egmont Key Alliance offers
tours of the site and hopes to restore the missing lantern. In late 2000 sand
was added to the key's beaches to slow beach erosion near the tower. In the
summer of 2001, the Coast Guard announced plans to deactivate the light, but
these plans have been shelved. In 2008, the lighthouse was painted in time
for a celebration of its 150th anniversary. In late 2008, the state announced
that the economic crisis might require closing the state park and laying off
the resident caretaker. Alliance members protested these projected cutbacks.
Located on the north end of the island in the mouth of Tampa Bay. The island
is accessible by passenger
ferry from Fort DeSoto Park, on FL 679 south of St. Petersburg. Site open,
base of tower open on selected weekends. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Egmont Key State Park.
ARLHS USA-269; Admiralty J3144; USCG 3-1370.
- Egmont Channel Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); continuous green light. 41 m (135 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with three galleries, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. Trabas has a photo by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, Ryan Calhoun has a view from the beach, and Google has a satellite view. This is the main approach range for ships arriving at Tampa Bay. The front light is mounted on a similar platform. Located about 200 m (650 ft) off the beach at Fort DeSoto Park. Accessible only by boat, but easy to view from the beach. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J3142.1; USCG 3-1380.
Egmont Kay Light, St. Petersburg, June 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Chris Zúniga
- ** Tampa
Bay Watch (Tierra Verde)
- 2005. Active (unofficial); focal plane 74 ft (23 m); white flash every 4
s. Approx. 13 m (43 ft) lantern room centered atop a 3-story wood environmental
education building. Building painted blue with white trim; lantern painted
black. Google has a satellite
view. The center provides offices for Tampa Bay Watch and classrooms for
environmental education activities. Tampa Bay Watch says the light has USCG approval, but it is not charted and not on the USCG Light List. Located on the west side of Tampa
Bay at 3000 Pinellas Bayway South (FL 679) in Tierra Verde, south of St. Petersburg.
Owner/site manager: Tampa Bay Watch.
- 1887. Reactivated (inactive 1985-2003, now maintained by the state
of Florida); focal plane 105 ft (32.5 m); four white flashes every
20 s. 102 ft (31.5 m) octagonal "Sanibel class" pyramidal skeletal
tower with central cylinder. Acrylic 4th order replica
Fresnel lens. Lighthouse painted reddish brown, lantern black.
The keeper's houses have been demolished, but the brick oil house
survives. Wikimedia has the Coast Guard photo at right, Darren Osgood has a fine photo,
Trabas has Michael Boucher's photo, the Coast Guard has a historic
photo showing the keeper's houses, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, and Google has a satellite
view. Once critically endangered after years of neglect and vandalism,
this light station has been pulled back from the grave by dedicated
volunteers and state financing. The Gulf Islands Alliance and Tampa
Bay Harbour Lights club worked for restoration, and the tower was
transferred from the Bureau of Land Management to the state of Florida,
making restoration possible. In 2001 the state built a dock to provide
access to the island; Lighthouse Digest reported
on these early efforts in February 2001. In 2003, International Chimney
Corp. carried out a $1.5 million project to restore
the lighthouse, and the tower was relit on September 13. In the spring
of 2004, a 1-story octagonal wood ranger's house was built; this house
is similar to a traditional keeper's house but it is not a reproduction
of the historic houses. The replica 4th order lens was installed November
15, 2004. In 2005, a new support group, Friends
of Anclote Key State Park & Lighthouse, was organized, and
on October 15 the lighthouse was opened to visitors for the first
time. Located at the southern end of the Anclote Keys northwest of
Tarpon Springs. Accessible only by boat; landing facilities are available.
Site open, tower closed except for occasional open house dates. Owner:
Florida State Parks. Site manager: Anclote
Key Preserve State Park. ARLHS USA-013; Admiralty J3273; USCG
Levy County Lighthouses
- Seahorse Reef (3?)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 ft (9.5 m); white flash every
6 s. 31 ft (9.5 m) square skeletal tower mounted on a platform supported
by piles. No photo available. The original light here is described
by a 1902 coast pilot as a pyramidal iron structure 52.5 ft (16 m)
in height. The National Maritime Inventory page for Cedar Keys (next entry) has 1922 for construction of a light on Seahorse Reef, but it also has a tower height of 51 ft. Another source says that a taller tower was destroyed by a storm in March 1993 and replaced by the present light. Located at the outer edge of a reef about 8.5 mi (14 km)
south southwest of the Cedar keys lighthouse. Accessible only by boat.
Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J3286; USCG 3-1615.
Anclote Key Light, September 2005
U.S. Coast Guard public domain photo by PA2 Tasha Tully
- Cedar Keys
- 1854 (George G. Meade). Inactive since 1915. 23 ft (7 m) square brick keeper's
house surmounted by hexagonal cylindrical tower and lantern. Built atop a
dune, the lighthouse had a focal plane of 75 ft (23 m). The building, expanded
with 1-story wood additions, is now a dormitory for the University of Florida
Marine Laboratory. Donna McCraw has a good photo,
Justin Haynes has a 2010 photo, the Coast Guard has an 1890s-era photo
showing the original appearance of the lighthouse, the Marine Laboratory
has posted a virtual
tour of the site, and Google has a satellite
view. In 2003, the university repaired and renovated the building.
However, settling of the foundation will require more substantial repairs
in the near future, and the Fish and Wildlife Service has ordered an engineering
study of the building. Located on Seahorse Key in Cedar
Keys National Wildlife Refuge. Site and tower closed except for an occasional open house. Owner:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Site manager: University
of Florida Marine Laboratory. ARLHS USA-745; ex-Admiralty J3284.
Wakulla County Lighthouse
- * St.
- 1842 (Calvin Knowlton). Station established 1831. Active; focal
plane 82 ft (25 m); white light occulting every 4 s. 73 ft (22 m)
brick tower (extended from 65 ft in 1867) attached to a 1-story brick
keeper's house (1871). The original 5th order Fresnel lens is mounted
in the lantern but not in use; the active light is a 250 mm lens mounted
on the gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern black. Donna McCraw's
photo is at right, Dusten Hay has a good 2009 photo,
Wikimedia has many photos, the Coast Guard has a drawing
of the original (1831) lighthouse and a historic
photo of the present light station, the wildlife refuge web site
has the history
of the lighthouse, and Google has a satellite
view. This is the second oldest Florida lighthouse. The St.
Marks Refuge Association works for restoration of the light station.
There are plans to renovate the keeper's house as a visitor center.
The Coast Guard spent $150,000 in 2000 to stabilize
the station, and the wildlife refuge has improved the road and parking
facilities. In 2002 the leaky roof of the keeper's house was repaired.
In July 2005, Hurricane Dennis broke a window of the lantern, soaking
the inside of the tower with rain water, and washed out part of the
parking lot. In June 2006, Congress passed an act transferring the
lighthouse from the Coast Guard to the Fish and Wildlife Service;
this will allow the Refuge Association to proceed with restoration
plans. However, the transfer cannot be completed until lead-contaminated
soil around the lighthouse is removed. By late 2008 there was hope
that the transfer would occur soon, but as of July 2011 it was still pending. Located on the coast on the east
side of the St. Marks River entrance, at the end of county road 59
about 8 miles (13 km) south of U.S. 98. Site open (refuge entry fee),
tower open occasionally for special events. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard.
Site manager: St. Marks National
Wildlife Refuge. ARLHS USA-801; Admiralty J3300.1; USCG 4-0010.
St. Marks Light, Crawfordville, September 2006
copyright Donna McCraw; used by permission
Franklin County Lighthouses
- ** Crooked
- 1895. Reactivated (inactive 1995-2007; now privately maintained); focal
plane 115 ft (35 m); two white flashes every 15 s. 100 ft (30.5 m) "Sanibel
class" square pyramidal skeletal tower
with central cylinder; upper half painted red, lower half white. The original
4th order bivalve Henry Lepaute lens is on display at the Coast
Guard Eighth District headquarters in New Orleans. In the late 1990s the lighthouse was abandoned and deteriorating.
There's a photo at the top of this page, Alan Culley has a late 2007 photo,
Trabas has Michael Boucher's photo, Wikimedia has many photos, the Coast Guard has a historic aerial
photo, the Carrabelle Chamber of Commerce has a web
page for the lighthouse, and Google has a satellite
view. The Carrabelle Lighthouse Association was formed in 1999 to work
for restoration of the station. In 2000, the City of Carrabelle secured ownership
of the site and leased it to the association. The state granted $298,000 for
engineering studies and the start of a restoration, which was carried out
in 2007. The lighthouse was relit with its original light pattern in a ceremony
on 8 December 2007. A replica of the keeper's house was built in 2008-09 to serve as a visitor center and museum.
In April 2012, the original wash house, a small outbuilding, was recovered and brought back to the light station. The original keeper's house
was sold and relocated 2 miles (3 km) west to a waterfront location at 2463 Highway 98 (Google has a satellite view). It was reported in poor condition
as of January 2003, but it was later repaired and in 2011 it was for sale for $269,000. Located on the inland side of US 98 just west of Carrabelle Beach. Site open;
museum open Thursday through Sunday afternoons, tower open Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Owner: City of Carabelle.
Site manager: Carrabelle Lighthouse
Association. ARLHS USA-205; Admiralty J3314; USCG 4-0050.
- *** Cape
St. George (2) (rebuilt)
- 1852 (Edward Bowden) (station established 1848). Reactivated (inactive
1994-2009); focal plane 76 ft (23 m); white flash every 6 s. 70
ft (21.5 m) brick tower, painted white; lantern painted black. The
keeper's house was destroyed by fire in 1961, but its chimney was
standing at last report. The Coast Guard has a historic
photo. The first Cape St. George lighthouse was only three years
old when it was toppled by the great hurricane of 1851. The present
lighthouse was built on the point of the cape on Little St. George
Island, where it was accessible only by boat plus a hike of about
1 mile (1.6 km) in sand. For many years it was one of the most
endangered lighthouses in the United State and a longtime resident
of the Lighthouse
Digest Doomsday List. The Shanklins have a portfolio
of photos documenting the lighthouse's decline. In early 1999 the
lighthouse, then known as the Leaning
Tower of Florida, was on the beach, rolled off its pile foundation
by the waves and leaning at more than 10°. The Cape St. George
Lighthouse Society then leased the tower from the Coast Guard.
A $250,000 project to stabilize the lighthouse righted the tower
on a 10-foot (3 m) concrete foundation surrounded by sheet pilings.
However, waves continued to wash around the base. In July 2001,
it was reported to FLA that the tower was straight and surrounded
by a caisson. By early 2004, however, the lighthouse was
once again standing in the water and frantic
efforts were underway to save it. Later in 2004 the St.
George Lighthouse Association was formed
to work for saving the lighthouse by moving it inland. The lighthouse
stood through glancing blows from several hurricanes in 2004-05,
but it finally collapsed
in quiet weather on the afternoon of 21 October 2005. Association
members quickly mobilized
to salvage as much as possible of the tower. Lighthouse Digest
has a report
on these efforts. In 2007, the state legislature appropriated $350,000
for the reconstruction of the lighthouse, and work was underway
by the end of 2007. The bricks of the interior walls in the reconstructed
lighthouse are those of the original. In January 2008, the St. George
Island Visitor Center and Lighthouse Museum opened next to the site
of the reconstructed lighthouse. In April, a replica lantern was
placed atop the tower, and in late November the completed lighthouse
opened for climbing. In October 2009 a Vega VLB-44 lens was installed
and the lighthouse was activated. Michael Rowlett's photo of the
restored lighthouse is at right, and Wikimedia has numerous photos, but the reconstructed tower is too new to appear in Google's satellite view. In August 2011, a museum opened in a reconstructed keeper's house next to the lighthouse. The new location is in a county park in the beach resort town
of St. George Island, about 12 mi (19 km) east northeast of the original
site. Located in St. George Island Park. Site open, tower open daily
except Thursdays and Fridays. ARLHS USA-140; USCG 4-0075.
Cape St. George Light, St. George Island, June 2008
photo copyright Michael Rowlett; used by permission
Gulf County (Port St. Joe Area) Lighthouses
San Blas (4)
- 1885 (station established 1847). Inactive since 1996. 90 ft (27.5
m) "Sanibel class" square pyramidal skeletal
tower with central cylinder, painted white. A 3rd order Fresnel
lens (1906) remains in the tower. Judy Baxter's photo is at
right, Wikimedia has numerous photos,
the Coast Guard has a historic
photo, and Google has a satellite
view. The light station has long been endangered by beach
erosion, which claimed three earlier lighthouses in 1851, 1857,
and 1882. The Coast Guard has a rare
photo of the third (1859) lighthouse, a handsome round brick
tower. The present tower was relocated 1.25 miles (2 km) inland
in 1918, but it is under attack by the sea again. In 2000, the
U.S. Air Force assumed control of the site and began working
to stabilize and restore the buildings. Two keeper's houses,
collapsing onto the beach early in 1999, were relocated and
one was renovated. The other remained in very poor condition
for at least five years, but it has now been restored, as seen
in Mark Scott's April 2005 photo and
in a 2010 photo.
The original brick oil house also survives (it appears at the
left in the 2010 photo). Stephen Wilmoth has May 2003 photos;
he says the light is in operation, but it does not appear on
the current USCG Light List. The station has been leased to
Gulf County and the St. Joseph Historical Society, and the society
has opened it to the public. On September 20, 2008, the tower
was opened for guided tours. The station continues to be critically endangered by beach erosion, and in May 2012 local officials were seeking funds to relocate the light station to Port St. Joe. Due to the erosion danger, the lighthouse has been added to the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List. The St. Joseph Historical Society has launched a web site for the relocation effort. Tropical Strom Debby spotlighted the danger in June 2012 by removing another 6-16 ft (2-5 m) of sand from the beach in front of the lighthouse. In October, Eglin Air Forec Base officials ordered the light station closed. In December, the National Park Service awarded ownership of the light station to the city of Port St. Joe, which plans to relocate the station to a new waterfront park. In December, the Air Force had the two keeper's houses moved 100 ft (30 m) inland off the beach. In May 2013, the Florida legislature appropriated $325,000 for the relocation of the station. Located off county road 30E about
750 yd (700 m) northwest of the point of the cape and about
5 miles (8 km) west of Indian Pass. Site and tower closed. Owner: U.S. Air Force. Site manager: Gulf County. ARLHS
USA-135; ex-Admiralty J3366.
Cape San Blas Light, Port St. Joe, September 2005
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Judy Baxter
- * St.
Joseph Point (Beacon Hill) Range Rear (1)
- 1902. Inactive since 1960. 41 ft square wood keeper's house surmounted
by square cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted
white. Sibling of the Gasparilla Island (Port Boca Grande) Light. The lighthouse
was replaced by a skeletal tower (next entry). Sold as a private residence,
the building was relocated in 1960 and again in 1979. The lantern was accidently
destroyed during the 1960 relocation. Wikimedia has a 2010 photo,
January 2008 photo
is available, the Coast Guard has a photo
of the lighthouse when it was in service, and Google has a satellite
view. The current owners, JoAnn and Danny Raffield, have been working
for years to renovate and restore the building. In April 2011 they completed
their work by mounting a replica of the original lantern. Located on county
road 30 next to Pressnells
Fish Camp, 2.2 mi (3.5 km) south of the intersection of U.S. 98, south of
Port St. Joe. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS
USA-1023; ex-Admiralty J3370.
- * St.
Joseph Bay (Beacon Hill) Range Rear (2?)
- 1960. Active; focal plane 78 ft (24 m); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 78
ft (24 m) square skeletal tower. The tower carries a rectangular daymark
colored red with a white vertical stripe. Trabas has a good photo by Michael Boucher, Ron Judy has a photo,
and Google has a satellite view.
This is the original location of the St. Joseph Point lighthouse (previous
entry). Located at the entrance to Beacon Hill County Park on US 98 at St.
Joe Beach in Beacon Hill, about 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Port St. Joe.
Site open, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Gulf
County. Admiralty J3368.1; USCG 4-0095.
Escambia County (Pensacola Area) Lighthouses
- Pensacola Bay Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 67 ft (20 m); green light at night, white
by day, 3 s on, 3 s off, visible only on the range line. 67 ft (20 m) square
skeletal tower, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. The tower
also carries a rectangular daymark, red with a white vertical stripe. No photo
available, but Google has a good satellite
view. This range guides vessels across Pensacola Bay to the city's waterfront.
Located in the bay off the end of Perry Avenue, about 3/4 mi (1.2 km) east
of the US 98 bridge. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site
manager: U.S. Coast Guard. Admiralty J3406.1; USCG 4-4925.
- Pensacola East Channel Inner Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 69 ft (21 m); green light occulting
once every 4 s, visible from all directions. Approx. 62 ft (19 m)
square skeletal tower. The tower also carries a rectangular daymark,
red with a white vertical stripe. Trabas has Michael Boucher's photo, and Google has
a good satellite
view. Located on the commercial docks on South Barracks Street
in downtown Pensacola. Site status unknown. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard.
Site manager: unknown. Admiralty J3409.51; USCG 4-4995.
- **** Pensacola
- 1859 (John Newton). Station established 1824. Active; focal plane
191 ft (58 m); white flash every 20 s. 150 ft (46 m) "early
classical" brick tower attached to a 2-story brick keeper's
house. The light shines from a revolving 1st order Fresnel lens
(1869), one of very few of its type still in service in the U.S.
Upper two thirds of the lighthouse painted black, lower third
white. The Fort Barrancas Range Rear Light [focal plane 54 ft
(16.5 m); continuous green light; Admiralty J3400.1; USCG 4-4010]
stands in front of the keeper's house on a short skeletal tower;
the photo at right shows this light well, and
it is prominent in a 2010 photo. Anderson has an excellent page for the lighthouse, a 2008 closeup
is available, Trabas has Michael Boucher's photo, Marinas.com has aerial
photos, the Coast Guard has a historic
photo, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, and Google has a satellite
view. This is the tallest lighthouse on the U.S. Gulf of
Mexico coast. The property was authorized by Congress for inclusion
Gulf Islands National Seashore,
but it has not been transferred to the National Park Service. A
preservation group, Pensacola Lighthouse Association, is working
for restoration of the site. The keeper's house has been renovated
as the Navy’s
Command Display Center, with exhibits on the history of the lighthouse
and the Naval Air Station. In May 2007 the Navy closed the tower
due to liability concerns. After extended negotiations, the Navy
and the Pensacola Lighthouse Association agreed on a plan to
resume tours in May 2008. Located off Radford Boulevard (FL 173)
on a ridge overlooking the entrance to Pensacola harbor. Site and
tower open daily. Owner: U.S.
Naval Air Station Pensacola). Site manager: Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum. ARLHS USA-592; Admiralty J3394;
- Caucus Channel Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 67 ft (20 m); green light, 3 s on, 3 s
off, visible only on the range line. 67 ft (20 m) square skeletal tower, rising
from a square concrete equipment shelter. The tower also carries a rectangular
daymark, red with a white vertical stripe. Trabas has a closeup photo by Michael Boucher, and Google
has a good satellite
view. This is the primary entrance range from Pensacola Bay. Located on
the beach just off Blue Angel Parkway (FL 173) about 3/4 mi (1.2 km) southwest
of the Pensacola lighthouse. Site and tower closed, but there's a good view
from the highway. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. Admiralty J3396.1;
Pensacola Light, Pensacola, March 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo by lastonein
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
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Posted 2000. Checked and revised June 29, 2012. Lighthouses:
25. Site copyright 2012 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at