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Time Tunnel to Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

blogponce 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!

blue_starMap Location:
For a Map Location and aerial view of the Lighthouse, please visit the Google Map of Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

Lighthouse Background:

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.

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Chatham Lighthouse Bicentennial

chatham.jpg For two centuries, Chatham Lighthouse, located on the tip of the “elbow” of Cape Cod, has protected mariners navigating around one of New England’s most treacherous coastal shoals. The town of Chatham is celebrating the Bicentennial of Chatham Lighthouse with exhibits at the town hall and library during the summer.

The active lighthouse at the Coast Guard station will be 200-years old on Oct 7, 2008 and a Lighthouse Lecture by Jeremy D’Entremont at the Chatham Community Center is scheduled for Oct 5th.

Public tours of the Lighthouse Tower are scheduled on the following Open House dates: July 9, 16, 23, 30 – August 6, 13, 20, 27 – Sep 3, 17 – Oct 1, 15 and Dec 31, 2008. Admission is free and the Tower is open to the public from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.

*Lighthouse Background:

In 1808, two 40-foot high octagonal wood framed Towers were constructed 70-feet apart on James Head, a 50-foot high bluff. Both twin Lights were First Lit on Oct 7, 1808 and exhibited a Fixed White Light illuminated by 6 whale Oil Lamps with 8.5-inch reflectors and green glass lenses.

The “Twin Lighthouses” had three functions: Range Lights marking the safe channel for navigation entering Chatham Harbor, to guide maritime commerce, en route to Nantucket Sound, around the shifting shoreline and shoals of Chatham, and to distinguish Chatham Light from Cape Cod Light.

The current conical cast-iron Lighthouse was built in 1877 and First Lit on September 6, 1877. In 1923, nine years after the opening of the Cape Cod Canal redirected the main shipping from around the outer Cape and the Sounds, the North Light Tower was moved to Nauset Beach to replace the “Three Sisters” Lighthouses.

The remaining South Light Tower was refitted with a new Fourth-order rotating Fresnel lens and exhibited four white flashes every 30 seconds. Currently, Chatham Light exhibits two white flashes every 10 seconds illuminated by a DCB-224 Aerobeacon 80-feet high above sea level to visible range of 24 nautical miles at sea.

For more Lighthouse information and photos, please click on the photo of this post.

*Map Location:
Google Map of Chatham Lighthouse

Related News Source:
Shining light on darkness

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Arte y Pico Award Ceremony at Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse

artey.jpg My friend, Linda who is the very creative Blogger and talented writer of Are We There Yet, received the Arte y pico Award of Blogging creativity. Congratulations on receiving this treasured award in recognition of your talented Blogging skills, Linda!

Linda secretly set sail to Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse, the “Eiffel Tower of Long Island Sound” to illuminate my peaceful harbor and award me with her prestigious Arte y Pico Award! Gracias, Linda!

I have the honor to “Pay this Award Forward” to another talented and creative Blogger, Bobby Revell of Revellian Reflections who is always available to help Bloggers and he also writes amazing fictional adventures!

faulkner.jpg Lighthouse Background:

After the Revolutionary War, shipping in Long Island Sound increased during the early 1800’s and numerous ships were wrecked on the reefs surrounding the three-acre crescent shaped island located about 3.5-miles offshore from Guilford, Connecticut. In 1802, a 42-foot high octagonal sandstone Lighthouse was built and exhibited a Fixed White Light illuminated by 12 oil lamps to mark the dangerous island.

The second oldest Lighthouse in Connecticut was the reason a federal law was passed prohibiting the sale of liquor at American light stations. Lighthouse Keeper Eli Kimberley (1818-1851) built a bowling alley with a bar which was visited by up to a hundred patrons every day during the summer. Drinking at American Lighthouses ended soon after 20 men from New Haven became drunk at the Lighthouse Keeper’s Bar and destroyed the Keepers boat, lighthouse equipment, and the Kimberlys’ vegetable garden on the Fourth of July in 1829.

In 1856, the whale oil lamps were replaced by a Fourth-order Fresnel lens and currently, the active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation exhibits a Flashing White Light every 10-seconds illuminated by a modern solar powered VRB-25 optic 94-feet above sea level to a visible range of 13 nautical miles.

In 1978, the Lighthouse was automated after a fire destroyed the 1871 Keeper’s House on March 15, 1976. After Congress established the Connecticut Coastal McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in 1984, Faulkner’s Island and the Lighthouse was transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1985 to research and protect the endangered Roseate Tern. The Coast Guard has an access easement to maintain the beacon.

After years of neglect, vandalism, and erosion slowly destroying the foundation of the Lighthouse, Joel Helander, a Lighthouse Preservationist, founded the Faulkner’s Light Brigade in 1991 to save the historic Lighthouse treasure.

In 1999, the International Chimney Corporation of Buffalo, New York, a renown Lighthouse moving company, restored the lighthouse for $250,000 to its 1871 appearance. In a effort to control erosion, a massive 20-foot high and 50-feet wide stone wall was erected along the east embankment in 2000.

During the summer, the island is closed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the nesting area of the Roseate Terns. Faulkner’s Light Brigade, who maintain the Lighthouse, opens the Lighthouse for tours in September. Their 2008 Open House has been scheduled for September 6-7 and September 13-14, weather permitting.

blue_starMap Location:
For a Map Location of the Lighthouse, please visit the Google Map of the Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse

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Tawas Point Lighthouse Keeper Job Openings

tawas.jpg The Tawas Point State Park is looking for vacationing volunteers willing to work as guest Light-keepers for free and pay $275 for rent per week. Guest Lighthouse keepers will live on the second floor of recently renovated Lighthouse keeper’s quarters. This lighthouse vacation retreat includes a modern kitchen, bath, and two bedrooms.

Upon arrival, Guest Lighthouse keepers will be trained to greet visitors, explain the history of the Lighthouse, and work in the gift shop and museum.

For more information about the new Tawas Point Lighthouse Keeper Program, please contact the Tawas Point Lighthouse Museum Store at (989) 362-5658 or the Tawas Point State Park at (989) 362-5041.

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the lighthouse is open for tours on weekends. Climbing the Tower provides a spectacular scenic view of Tawas Point. For more tour information, please call (989) 362-5658. Tawas Point Lighthouse is managed by Tawas Point State Park which also offers camping, picnicking, hiking and other seasonal activities.

blue_starLighthouse Background:

Tawas Point Lighthouse was built on Ottawa Point and was First Lit in 1853 for mariners seeking a harbor of refuge in Tawas Bay from the squalls of Lake Huron. A 45-foot high rubble stone Tower was illuminated by Lewis Lamps with silvered reflectors exhibiting a Fixed White Light 54-feet above lake level.

Due to poor construction and the reshaping of Ottawa Point, the Lighthouse was rebuilt in 1876. The present 68-foot high brick tower was First Lit in 1877 exhibiting a Fixed White Light illuminated by a Fifth-order Fresnel lens 70-feet above lake level.

The Lighthouse was refitted with the present Fourth-order Fresnel lens in 1891 and exhibited a new Light characteristic, a 25-second White Light and 5-second eclipse every 30-seconds, on Sep 1, 1891. In 1902, Ottawa Point was changed to the name, Tawas Point.

The Lighthouse was automated and the station closed in 1953. The ownership of the Lighthouse was transferred to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in 2001. The state has been restoring the Light Station to its early twentieth century appearance.

Currently, the Lighthouse exhibits a Occulting White Light every 4-seconds with a Red Sector (Red from 045° to 135° ) illuminated by a Fourth-order Fresnel lens 70-feet above lake level to visible range of 16 nautical miles.

blue_starMap Location:
For a Map Location of the Lighthouse, please visit the Google Map of the Tawas Point Lighthouse
For Directions and more Lighthouse history, please visit Terry Pepper’s Tawas Point Light web page.

Related News Source:
Tawas Point Lighthouse needs keepers

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Discover Michigan Lighthouses

tawas.jpgRecently, the Detroit News published a news story about visiting the 124 Lighthouses in Michigan as fun, easy, and inexpensive to visit.

According to Terry Pepper, the executive director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, many lighthouse visitors “are struck by the beauty, history and sheer isolation of these maritime sentinels. They tend to be magnificent structures, beautiful to look at, and harken back to a time when survival was a little closer, more pressing, than today,” he says. “They also tend to be located in some pretty spectacular places, such as islands, harbor entrances and prominent points along the Michigan shore.”

And, climbing the open towers to the balcony of the Lantern Room offers breathtaking scenic vistas of the shore. In addition, the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association is offering Lighthouse Cruises starting June 9. For more information about the cruise schedules, please visit and click the Events menu tab.

For directions, open towers, and information about all Great Lakes Lighthouses, please visit Terry Pepper’s excellent “Seeing The Light – Lighthouses of the Western Great Lakes” web-site.

The Detroit News also published a excellent interactive slideshow of Michigan Lighthouses with a brief background of each Lighthouse. To view, please visit the “Special interactive: Click around the lighthouses of Michigan.”

In closing, the most intriguing Great Lakes Lighthouse Legend is the haunted tale of the deactivated Old Presque Isle Lighthouse. According to the whale of a tale, the ghost of George Parris, a former museum caretaker, returns every night to light the lamp in the empty Lantern Room. Edna Lenter who has worked at the museum for six years claims the Light is on “just about every night” and people have used the haunted Light to find the harbor at night and during storms. The paranormal phantom of Old Presque Isle has been investigated for years and sensationalized on myth-busting and Sci-fi tv shows.

Related News Source:
Discover the great lighthouses that line the Great Lakes, May 20, 2008

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