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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
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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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National Lighthouse Day 2008 Events

graves200
Photo credit: Debbie Dolphin ©2008..
Graves Lighthouse, Boston Harbor

Notable New England Lighthouse events for the week before National Lighthouse Day:

Sunday, July 27, 2008 ~
Plum Island Light
Open House, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m
Google Map Directions
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Sunday, July 27, 2008 ~ Nubble Light‘s Christmas in July, 8:00-9:00 p.m.
Google Map Directions
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008 ~ Chatham Lighthouse Open House, 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. Google Map Directions
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Thursday, July 31, 2008 ~ New England Lighthouse Tours: Lighthouses of Portsmouth, NH & Portland, Maine tour, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Google Map Directions
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Thursday, July 31, 2008 ~ Nobska Lighthouse Open House, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Google Map Directions
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Friday, August 1, 2008 ~ New England Lighthouse Tours: Seacoast Lights and Portsmouth Harbor by Land & Sea, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Google Map Directions
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Local New England Lighthouse events scheduled for the week of National Lighthouse Day:

Saturday, August 2, 2008 ~ Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse Open House, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Google Map Directions
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008 ~ Chatham Lighthouse Open House, 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. Google Map Directions
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National Lighthouse Day Events ~ Thursday, August 7, 2008

1. New England Lighthouse Tours: Haunted Lighthouses tour from Portsmouth, NH, 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Google Map Directions

2. Nobska Lighthouse Open House, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Google Map Directions

3. Narragansett Bay Lighthouse Cruise Wickford, RI, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Google Map Directions
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Friday, August 8, 2008 ~ New England Lighthouse Tours: Seacoast Lights and Portsmouth Harbor by Land & Sea, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Google Map Directions
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Saturday, August 9, 2008 ~ “Lights Across the Border” International Lighthouse Challenge, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
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Saturday, August 9, 2008 ~ Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse Open House, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Google Map Directions
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Saturday, August 9, 2008 ~ Nobska Lighthouse Open House, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Google Map Directions
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Saturday, August 9, 2008 ~ North Shore Lighthouse Cruise hosted by the Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Google Map Directions
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Saturday, August 9, 2008 ~ Save the Bay Ultimate Lighthouse Tour Narragansett Bay, RI, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Google Map Directions
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Notable Lighthouse Day events outside New England:

Saturday, August 2, 2008 ~ Pirate Heaven and Costume Contest at Old Baldy Lighthouse, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Google Map Directions
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Saturday, August 2, 2008 ~ Reduced tour rates ($5) at Fire Island Lighthouse, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Google Map Directions
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Thursday, August 07, 2008 ~ National Lighthouse Day at Cape May Lighthouse, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Google Map Directions
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Thursday, August 07, 2008 ~ National Lighthouse Day at Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Google Map Directions
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For other National Lighthouse Day events outside of New England, search Google for the Lighthouse web-site that manages and/or maintains the Lighthouse to see if any holiday events are scheduled.

Holiday Background

Since August 7, 1989, National Lighthouse Day has been celebrated and where feasible Lighthouse grounds are open to the public. August 7, 1989 was the 200th anniversary of the federal Lighthouse Act that gave Congress authority over the nation’s Lighthouse. On April 28, 1988, Senator John H. Chafee from Rhode Island sponsored a joint resolution to designate August 7 as National Lighthouse Day which President Ronald Reagan signed as Public Law No. 100-622 on November 5, 1988.

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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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Nubble Lighthouse FEMA Funding

nubblelight.jpg The town of York is expecting to receive federal funding to repair picturesque Cape Neddick Lighthouse and the attached Keeper’s house, located on top of a small scenic island called the Nubble which is offshore from Sohier Park in York, Maine.

During the Patriots Day Storm of 2007, the Keeper’s house roof, stairs, boat ramp, boat house, tram between the Nubble and Sohier Park, and the island were damaged. Last year, FEMA provided $15,000 to stabilize the erosion with rip rap. Unfortunately, the erosion was not stabilized.

After negotiations with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Parks and Recreation Director Michael Sullivan hopes to receive $450,000 to repair the damages to the Nubble and perimeter of Sohier Park.

blue_starLighthouse Background:

Nubble Lighthouse was First Lit on July 1, 1879 exhibiting a Fixed Red light illuminated by Fourth-order Fresnel Lens 88-feet above sea level visible to a range of 13 nautical miles. Currently, the Light blinks a Red Light for 6 seconds and winks for 6 seconds of darkness (Isophase Red 6-seconds).

nubblexmas.jpg Every year, the Nubble Lighthouse is decorated with white lights outlining the Tower and houses. A “Christmas in July” event is scheduled for Sunday July 27, 2008 from 8-9pm to celebrate York Days. The Annual Lighting of the Nubble occurs on the the first Saturday after Thanksgiving from 5-6pm (Nov 29, 2008 this year).

Nubble Lighthouse is best viewed from Sohier Park which provides excellent views for photographing the scenic seacoast Lighthouse and a gift shop at the Welcome Center.

blue_starMap Location:
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Nubble Lighthouse.

For more Nubble Light history, please visit the Nubble Lighthouse Guide.

Related Past Posts:
Win a Lighthouse Vacation, July 26th, 2007
Nubble Rock and Lighthouse damage estimated at $1 million, June 28th, 2007

Related News Source:
York hopes for FEMA money to fix Nubble lighthouse

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