Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Cape San Blas Lighthouse

Driving East from St. Marks Lighthouse, the Cape San Blas Lighthouse is the fourth one along the Florida Panhandle. The lights at Cape San Blas have not survived without difficulty. The first two lights built were destroyed by storms. The third lighthouse was damaged by military forces during the war between the states but survived only to be toppled by beach erosion in 1882. Below is a picture of the shore area near the existing lighthouse.

In 1883 the light was replaced by a 98 foot skeletal lighthouse comprised of eight cast iron legs that support the watch room and lantern at the top of the tower. The tower initially stood 1500 feet from the shore and in 1894 a powerful storm left it damaged and standing in water. In 1918 it was moved a quarter of a mile inland to its current location. The light was lit in 1919. Today the light stands no more than 200 feet from the waters edge. The current keepers quarters were completed in 1905. One of the buildings was restored in 1999 by the Air Force for their use. The second visible above was restored in 2005 and is now used as a gift shop. The selection is minimal but it is worth a visit.
This is a beautiful location and although there is precious little beach left, it is worth the time to walk along the waters edge. The fallen tress and large pieces of driftwood demonstate the power of the sea.

No comments: