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. Lighthouses of the Florida Keys and the east coast are on separate
Navigational aids in the United States are operated by the U.S. Coast Guard but ownership (and sometimes operation) of historic lighthouses has been transferred to local authorities and preservation organizations in many cases. Florida Peninsula lights are the responsibility of the Coast Guard's Seventh District based in Miami; those west of the Appalachicola River (from Carrabelle westward) are the responsibility of the Eighth District based in New Orleans.
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 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 by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
in Florida, United States
- Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
- Online List
of Lights - U.S. - Florida West Coast
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
- 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.
- 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.
- NOAA Nautical Chart On-Line Viewer: Gulf Coast
- Nautical charts for the coast can be viewed online.
- U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center: Light Lists
- The USCG Light List can be downloaded in pdf format.
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). The two 1-story
square West Indian wood keeper's houses formerly provided housing for city employees
but currently they are being used for storage. A 3rd order Fresnel lens similar to the
original lens is on display at the Sanibel Historical Museum, along with a 300 mm drum lens installed in 1962. Pete Markham's photo is above right, Carol Vinzant has a good 2011 photo, Wikimedia has numerous photos, Trabas has a photo by Michael Boucher, a website for the lighthouse has photos and historical information, the Coast Guard has a historic photo taken in 1933, Lighthouse Digest has Jeremy D'Entremont's 2001 article on the history
of the light station, Rò Bisi has a street view 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 restored and repainted the exterior of the lighthouse.
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
- **** 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 the Sanibel Island and Key West keeper's houses);
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 beach view and a satellite
view. The building was critically endangered by abandonment and
beach erosion when Lee County took title to it in 1972. The lighthouse was restored
in 1985-86 by the Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association. The building was opened as a museum and the light was reactivated on 21 November 1986. The light station is now managed by the Barrier Island Parks Society. 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. In 2017 the state legislature approved a grant of $89,435 for needed repairs to the assistant keeper's house. 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 May and
Wednesday through Sunday in June, July, September and October; closed in August and on major holidays. Owner: State of Florida.
Site manager: Boca
Grande Lighthouse Museum. ARLHS USA-910; Admiralty J3110; USCG
Port Boca Grande Light, Gasparilla Island, October 2010
Commons photo by Ebyabe
- ** Gasparilla
Island (Boca Grande Entrance Range Rear)
- 1881 (relocated here in 1927 but not lit until 1932). Reactivated (inactive 2017-2019); focal plane 105 ft (32 m); white flash every 6 s.
100 ft (30.5 m) hexagonal pyramidal skeletal tower with central cylinder, all painted white; Tidelands 250 mm lens. J. Retherford Hunter's photo is at right, Trabas
has a good photo,
Jim Wellman has a drone view,
the Coast Guard has a historic photo, and Google has a street view and a 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. The tower was in poor condition and in 2016 the Coast Guard leased the property to the Barrier Islands Parks Society for maintenance and restoration. The Society estimated that nearly $1.8 million will be required for a full restoration; as of April 2016 it had raised $400,000. There is a web site for the restoration project. Note: the status of the light is uncertain. It was extinguished in the fall of 2016 for the benefit of nesting sea turtles in the area. It was to be reactivated in November 2016 but in January a USCG notice to mariners listed it as deactivated. In 2017 the Society opened the lighthouse for climbing for the first time. The lighthouse was reactivated on 9 February 2019 with a replica 4th order Fresnel lens, completing a $1.8 million restoration. However it has not been restored to the light lists. Located
on Gulf Boulevard at Wheeler Road on Gasparilla Island, north of the 1890
lighthouse. Site open (area entry fee), tower open several times a month, but the schedule varies. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard, leased to Barrier Islands Parks Society.
Site manager: Florida State Parks (Gasparilla
Island State Park). ARLHS USA-066; ex-Admiralty J3100.1; ex-USCG 3-1310.
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.
Gasparilla Island Light, Gasparilla Island, May 2016
Commons photo by J. Retherford Hunter
- 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 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
- Mullet Key Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (78 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off, visible only on the range line; also a passing light, white flash every 4 s at focal plane 12 m (40 ft). 24 m (78 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower carrying rectangular daymarks colored red with a white vertical stripe, mounted on a square skeletal platform. Trabas has a photo by Capt. Peter Mosselberger (also seen at right) and Google has a satellite view. Located next to one of the pillars of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (I-275) in the entrance to Tampa Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J3152.1; USCG 3-22360.
- 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 by Capt. Peter Mosselberger 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 and Google has a street view and 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.
- Gadsden Point Cut Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 75 ft (23 m); white light, 3 s on, 3 s
off, visible only on the range line. 75 ft (23 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower mounted on a square platform
supported by piles. Trabas has a photo by Capt. Peter Mosselberger and Google has a satellite
view. Note: there are numerous skeletal range lighthouses at various
locations in Tampa Bay; most have focal planes of 50 ft (15 m) or less. Only two of the tallest are listed here. Located northwest of the Big Bend harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J3216.9;
Mullet Key Light, Tampa Bay
photo copyright Capt. Peter Mosselberger; used by permission
- 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
- Egmont Key
- 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; the Carlisle and Finch
DCB-24 aerobeacon foremerly atop the capped tower has been replaced by a modern lens. Chris Zúniga's photo is at right, a closeup photo is available, Jackson Moore has a 2008 photo, Trabas has a photo by Capt. Peter Mosselberger, Marinas.com has aerial
photos, Lighthouse Digest has an article on the history of the station, and Google has a street view and 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.
In August 2013 the lens pedestal, left discarded in the woods when the lantern was removed, was retrieved for restoration; it will be displayed at the lighthouse. Located on the north end of the island in the mouth of Tampa Bay. The island
is accessible by passenger
ferry from Fort DeSoto County 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 (2?)
- Date unknown. Original lighthouse destroyed; currently listed with focal plane 119 ft (36 m); continuous green light. 119 ft (36 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower with three galleries, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. Google has a 2013 beach view of the original light, which was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The light is missing in Trabas's photo by Capt. Peter Mosselberger and in Google's 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 County Park. Accessible only by boat but easy to view from the beach. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J3142.1; USCG 3-1380.
Egmont Key Light, St. Petersburg, June 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Chris Zúniga (no longer online)
- ** 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 street view and 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
30 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, Kenneth Arbuckle has a 2018 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 in November
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. Tours were suspended in 2014 due to contaminated soil found near the tower. In 2017 site improvements were underway, including new fencing and boardwalks. The lighthouse reopened for climbing in June 2018. Located at the southern end of the Anclote Keys northwest of
Tarpon Springs. Accessible only by boat; landing facilities are available, and there is passenger ferry service from Tarpon Springs.
Site open, tower open on selected dates; check the Friends web site for current information. Owner:
Florida State Parks. Site manager: Anclote Key Preserve State Park. ARLHS USA-013; Admiralty J3273; USCG
Anclote Key Light, September 2005
U.S. Coast Guard public domain photo by PA2 Tasha Tully
Pasco County Lighthouse
- * Nan's Approach
- Date unknown. Active (privately maintained); focal plane about 13 m (43 ft); quick-flashing red light. Short square tower with square lantern atop a 2-story motel. Lantern and tower covered with blue vinyl shingles. Trabas has a photo and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located at the end of Clark Street in Hudson. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Inn on the Gulf. Admiralty J3277.6; 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 former 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. (Note: this is a popular site for fishing and scuba diving. Will someone please take a photo of the lighthouse?) 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.
- Cedar Keys
- 1854 (George G. Meade). Inactive since 1915 (a decorative light is shown on special occasions); charted as a landmark. 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,
a 2010 photo and a 2014 closeup are available, the Coast Guard has an 1890s-era photo
showing the original appearance of the lighthouse, 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. A relighting ceremony was held in July 2019 after the Florida Historical Board granted $50,000 for a replica Fresnel lens. 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 Nature Coast Biological Station. ARLHS USA-745.
Wakulla County Lighthouse
- ** St.
- 1842 (Calvin Knowlton). Station established 1831. Reactivated (inactive 2016-2019); 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). Fresnel lens removed for display. Lighthouse painted white, lantern black. Allen Forrest's photo is at right, Donna McCraw has a great
photo, Dusten Hay has a good 2009 photo,
Trabas has a closeup photo, Wikimedia has many photos, the Coast Guard has a historic
photo of the present light station, the wildlife refuge web site
has the history
of the lighthouse, and Google has a street view and a satellite
view. This is the second oldest Florida lighthouse. The Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge works for restoration of the light station and has a web site for the lighthouse.
The keeper's house is being restored as a visitor center.
The Coast Guard spent $150,000 in 2000 to stabilize
the station, and the wildlife refuge 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 allowed the Refuge Association to proceed with restoration
plans. However, the transfer could not be completed until lead-contaminated
soil around the lighthouse was removed. Following other frustrating delays the transfer finally took place in October 2013. In 2014 the refuge began opening the lighthouse for tours once a month. In November 2014 the original 5th order Fresnel lens was removed for restoration; it went on display at the refuge visitor center in April 2015. A $250,000 appropriation to restore the lighthouse was vetoed by Governor Rick Scott in June 2015, but in March 2016 the governor signed a budget bill providing $550,000 to launch the restoration. Rebuilding the lantern room was the first major project. The Coast Guard removed its lens in 2016 and withdrew from any interest in the lighthouse. By the summer of 2018 the first phase was restoration was nearly complete. The lighthouse opened for tours on October 5 but visitors are still not allowed to climb to the top. In 2019 a replica 4th order Fresnel lens was installed and the lighthouse was reactivated on October 31. 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. Limited parking provided. Site open (refuge entry fee),
tours of the keeper's house are available on the first Friday and the following Saturday of each month. Owner: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Site manager: St. Marks National
Wildlife Refuge (St. Marks Lighthouse ). ARLHS USA-801; Admiralty J3300.1; USCG 4-0010.
St. Marks Light, Crawfordville, April 2014
Flickr Creative Commons
photo by Allen Forrest
Franklin County Lighthouses
- #Carrabelle Channel Inner Range Rear
- Date unknown. Removed in 2017. This was a 56 ft (17 m) square skeletal tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. The tower carried a rectangular slatted daymark painted white with a red vertical stripe. Trabas has a photo but Google's satellite view confirms the removal of the light. The range guided vessels in the approach to the Carrabelle River through a channel passing the west end of Dog Island; a directional light now serves this purpose. Located about 1/2 mi (800 m) northeast of the river entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site ope, tower closed. ex-Admiralty J3310.1; ex-USCG 4-2565.
- **** 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. 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
photo, the Carrabelle Chamber of Commerce has a web
page for the lighthouse, and Google has a street view and a satellite
view. In the late 1990s the lighthouse was abandoned and deteriorating.
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 and tower open Wednesday through 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. 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, Trabas has a photo, Wikimedia has numerous photos, and the reconstructed tower appears in Google's street view and satellite view. In August 2011 a museum opened in a reconstructed keeper's house next to the lighthouse. Research located the Fresnel lens of the original lighthouse at the town hall in Berwick, Louisiana; negotiations to retrieve it were not successful. In 2015 a replica 3rd order lens was ordered for 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 daily, museum and tower open daily
except Thursdays. Owner: Franklin County. Site manager: St.
George Lighthouse Association . ARLHS USA-140; Admiralty J3328; 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
- * St.
Joseph Point (Beacon Hill) Range Rear (relocated) (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. Michael Pancier has a 2015 photo, Wikimedia has a 2010 photo,
a January 2008 photo is available, the Coast Guard has a photo of the lighthouse when it was in service, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The lighthouse
was replaced by a skeletal tower (see below) in 1960. Sold as a private residence,
the building was relocated in 1960 and again in 1979. The original lantern was accidently
destroyed during the 1960 relocation. The current owners, JoAnn and Danny Raffield, have worked
for years to renovate and restore the building. In April 2011 they completed
their work by mounting a replica of the original lantern (Anderson has a photo of the lighthouse with its new lantern, and Google's May 2011 street view also shows the house with the lantern). Located on county
road 30A 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, but the lighthouse is easily seen from a beach access parking area next door. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS
- *** Cape
San Blas (relocated to Port St. Joe) (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 photo is at right, Mike Hartzog has a photo, Harold Bramton has a 2018 drone view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Built at the point of Cape San Blas, the light station was long endangered by beach
erosion; Google's beach view showed the danger in July 2013. In fact erosion had claimed three earlier lighthouses in 1851, 1857,
and 1882. Wikimedia has numerous photos of the endangered light station,
Judy Baxter has a photo, and Google has a satellite
view of the former light station site. 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 came under attack by the sea again. The Coast Guard has a 1966
photo showing the light well inland at that time. 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
before being restored in 2005, as seen
in a 2010 photo.
The original brick oil house also survives (it appears at the
left in the 2010 photo). The station was leased to
Gulf County and the St. Joseph Historical Society, and the society
opened it to the public; the tower
was opened for guided tours on 20 September 2008. The station continued to be critically endangered by beach erosion and by May 2012 local officials were seeking funds to relocate the light station to Port St. Joe. Due to the erosion danger the lighthouse was added to the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List. 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 2012 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 launched plans to relocate the station to a new waterfront park. In December 2012 the Air Force had the two keeper's houses moved 100 ft (30 m) inland off the beach. In 2014 the Florida legislature appropriated $325,000 for the relocation of the station. In January 2014 the 3rd order Fresnel
lens (1906) was removed from the lighthouse for restoration. In April Port St. Joe Commissioners awarded a $510,450 contract for the relocation to GAC Contracting, and on July 15 a convoy of vehicles moved the lighthouse (on its side) and the rest of the light station 12.3 miles to George Core Park on the Port St. Joe waterfront. One of the keeper's houses has been renovated as the station's gift shop. A state grant of $125,000 funded renovations and upgrades to both keeper's houses in 2017. In 2018 fundraising began to restore and return the Fresnel lens for display in a maritime museum planned for the other keeper's house. Site open, tower open for climbing Wednesday through Saturday. Owner: City of Port St. Joe. Site manager: St. Joseph Historical Society (Cape San Blas Lighthouse ). ARLHS
USA-135; ex-Admiralty J3366.
Relocated Cape San Blas Light, Port St. Joe, April 2016
Flickr Creative Commons photo by BABS
- * 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
and Google has a street view and 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.
Bay County (Panama City Area) Lighthouse
- St. Andrew Bay A Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 65 ft (20 m); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off, visible only on or near the range line. 65 ft (20 m) square skeletal tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. The tower carries a rectangular slatted daymark painted white with a red vertical stripe. Trabas has a photo and Google has a satellite view. The range guides vessels entering St. Andrews Bay through a narrow pass. Located about 400 m (1/4 mi) off the Panama City waterfront near the foot of Balboa Avenue. Accessible only by boat but easy to see from the beach. Owner/site
manager: U.S. Coast Guard. Admiralty J3371.41; USCG 4-3345.
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) triangular
skeletal tower, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. The tower
also carries a rectangular daymark, red with a white vertical stripe. Trabas has a photo and Google has a street view and 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 street view and a good satellite
view. The front light is on a short skeletal tower atop a nearby warehouse. 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 4-4785)
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, Trabas has Michael Boucher's photo, Marinas.com has aerial
photos, the Coast Guard has a historic
photo, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, Eric Parker has a street 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. In 2014 International Chimney Corp. carried out a $425,000 exterior restoration of the tower. In December 2014 the lighthouse received $400,000 for the second phase of the restoration. A third phase was carried out at a cost of $550,000 in 2016. The fourth and final phase was completed by early 2018. 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;
Pensacola Light, Pensacola, March 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo by lastonein
- Navy Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 58 ft (18 m); green light, 3 s on, 3 s
off, visible only on the range line. 58 ft (18 m) square skeletal tower mounted on a square platform supported by piles and carrying a rectangular daymark colored red with a white vertical stripe. Trabas has a closeup photo by Michael Boucher, Michael Llenza has a closeup sea view, and Google
has a satellite
view. This range guides vessels approaching the exit from Pensacola Bay. Located just off
the beach and off Blue Angel Parkway (FL 173) about 3/8 mi (600 m) 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 J3404.1;
- 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 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;
Information available on lost lighthouses:
- Charlotte Harbor (1890-1943), Charlotte Harbor. This square cottage screwpile lighthouse was demolished when it was deactivated in 1943. The underwater ruins are charted as an obstruction and marked by a light on a post (focal plane 16 ft (5 m); red flash every 4 s). Google has a satellite view. ARLHS USA-157. Warning light: Admiralty J3124; USCG 3-19995.
- Dog Island (1838-1873), St. George Sound off Carrabelle. Anderson discusses the history of this lighthouse on his Crooked River page. The station was abandoned after lighthouses were destroyed by storms in 1842, 1851, and 1873. Archaeologists from Florida State University located the foundation of the 1873 lighthouse underwater in 1999. ARLHS USA-233.
Barrancas (Range Rear) (1888-1930), a short distance east of the Pensacola lighthouse. Nothing remains of the historic light. The modern Fort Barrancas Range Rear Light stands in front of the Pensacola lighthouse (see the photo above). ARLHS USA-289.
McRee Range Front and Rear
(1859-1888), east end of Perdido Key at the entrance to Pensacola Bay. The Caucus Channel Range Lights (see above) have replaced this range. ARLHS USA-292 and 1198.
Bar (1859-early 1900s), 448 ft (136.5 m) southeast of the Pensacola lighthouse. There is no longer a light onshore at this location, fairly close to the current Navy Range Rear Light. ARLHS USA-593
Joseph Point Range Front (1902-?). The Coast Guard has a 1917 photo but nothing remains of this small beacon. The rear lighthouse survives (see above). ARLHS USA-799.
Joseph's Bay (1839-1846), near Port St. Joe. Anderson discusses this lighthouse on his page for the St. Josephs Point Lighthouse. This earlier light was built near the end of the St. Joseph Peninsula, a long spit sheltering St. Joseph Bay. Abandoned in 1846, the lighthouse survived through the Civil War (1861-65), but nothing remains of it today. ARLHS USA-1023.
Notable faux lighthouses:
- Johns Pass Village, at Madeira Beach, St. Petersburg, has a well known faux lighthouse. Google has a street view and a satellite view.
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Posted 2000. Checked and revised July 25, 2019. Lighthouses:
30. Site copyright 2019 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at