Monthly Archives: November 2008
Recently, Dirk Kempthorne, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, approved the National Park Service’s recommendation to transfer ownership of Whaleback Lighthouse to the American Lighthouse Foundation, the key New England volunteer organization responsible for saving and preserving twenty Lighthouse Treasures.
The 50-foot high granite Lighthouse actively guards the entrance to the Piscataqua River and marks the approach to Portsmouth Harbor. Both the Beacon and Fog Signal will be maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The historic Lighthouse structure will be restored and preserved by the teamwork of the American Lighthouse Foundation and their local chapter, the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.
We are thankful that another New England Treasure has been saved and this distinctive coastal icon will be preserved for everyone to visit someday in the near future.
For historic, Lighthouse Cruises, and travel information about Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse, please click on the photo of this post.
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Whaleback Ledge Light
Related Past Posts:
- Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse Open House, Oct 2, 2007
A Photo Presentation of our visits to Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse and Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse
- Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse Tour, Sep 22, 2007
- Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse Support?, Aug 30, 2007
- Whaleback Ledge Light, A Beacon to save Fish?, Aug 11, 2007
- Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse for sale?, July 16, 2007
Related News Source:
Whaleback Lighthouse Receives New Keepers, November 18, 2008
Visiting Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse in 2003 was like a Time Tunnel trip to the Light Station in the 1890’s! Every building has been perfectly preserved to the era of sailing age when Coastal Castles were the primary guardians of safety for mariners seeking their home port!
Climbing the 194 spiral steps of this 175-foot high handsome red Lighthouse offers panoramic views of the spectacular scenic Florida coastline from Daytona Beach to Smyrna Dunes Park!
The Light Station includes the Ayres Davies Lens Exhibit Building which houses the restored original First-order Fresnel lens of Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and the rotating First-order Fresnel lens of Cape Canaveral lighthouse.
This Historical Treasure of Florida, located 12 miles south of Daytona Beach, is open to the public year round. After visiting Daytona Beach and Dale Earnhardt, Sr., the spirit of the Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway on your next vacation, drive into the history of this beautifully preserved Light Station to see your vacation from a new perspective!
For a Map Location and aerial view of the Lighthouse, please visit the Google Map of Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
Winslow Lewis constructed the first Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse which was completed in February, 1835 to mark the entrance of the inlet to the Mosquito River from the north and Indian River from the south. The First Light Keeper, Williams H. Williams had little work to do since the government failed to deliver the oil for his 11 Lewis Lamps!
After a storm in October 1835, the Keeper’s house was washed into the inlet and the Tower’s foundation was undercut. The Lighthouse could not be repaired due to the wars with the Seminole Indians and the Tower collapsed in April 1836.
On Feb 8, 1847, the Florida legislation requested a new Lighthouse which Congress never approved and a new Lighthouse was delayed again by the Civil War. After the Lighthouse Board noted the importance of a Lighthouse at the inlet to serve as both a coastal and a harbor light for four years (1870-1873), Congress did not approve the Board’s request. In 1882, the Lighthouse Board requested the Lighthouse again and Congress finally acted in 1882.
In 1883, construction of the present Lighthouse near the Mosquito Inlet was supervised by Orville E. Babcock, chief engineer of the sixth lighthouse district, using Light-House Board standard plans with modifications. Jared Smith became the Lighthouse construction supervisor after Orville Babcock drowned when his boat capsized while entering Mosquito Inlet on June 2, 1884.
On November 1, 1887, the Lighthouse was First Lit by Principal Keeper William Rowlinski exhibiting a Fixed White Light illuminated by a First-order Fresnel lens 159-feet above sea level visible for 20-miles out to sea.
After the Lighthouse was automated in 1953, the abandoned Light Station was unoccupied until one of the assistant Keeper’s House was used a Town Hall after the Town of Ponce Inlet was incorporated in 1963.
In 1970, the Coast Guard deactivated the Lighthouse after erecting a new skeletal tower Light at their Coast Guard Station on the south side of the Inlet. After vandals severely damaged the Light Station, the abandoned property was deeded to the Town of Ponce Inlet and Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc was established in 1972 to restore and manage the Light Station.
In restoring this Lighthouse Treasure, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Society has done a remarkable job reversing the damage done by the vandalism and neglect. In 1982, the Beacon in the Lantern Room was restored to active service as a Private Aid to Navigation.