Friday, January 08, 2010

St. Joseph Bay Lighthouse

The St. Joseph Bay Lighthouses have had an interesting history. The first lighthouse was built in 1838. The town hoped to become the major center outpacing the rival town of Apalachicola. The future was promising until a ship came arrived in 1841 with yellow fever aboard and the the epidemic wiped out the town. A subsequent hurricane that year destroyed the houses. The lighthouse was abandoned in 1847 in favor of the Cape San Blas Light. The light disappeared and it was determined that it was washed away.

The area around St. Joseph Peninsula was a dangerous site and the lighthouse Board decided that a new structure should be placed on the mainland. This structure allowed the keeper and his family to live in the lighthouse rather than a separate building. On the top of the structure was a light that shone 96 feet above the sea level
The U. S. government discontinued the the light and the structure was left to the elements and was eventually moved to Overstreet Highway for use as a barn. The structure was eventually purchased by a resident in Port St. Joe and it was moved to its present location in Simmons Bayou and converted to a private residence.
I was able to take pictures of this lighthouse from the street. It is a private residence and one should respect his property. I do remember that the couple who own the lighthouse were part of a program on one of the cable channels which highlighted this beautiful lighthouse.

1 comment:

Mostly Silent Partner said...

Fun to read this. Just finished researching an update for our map of Florida lighthouses. There is confusion about lighthouse names in this area (and that's not an unusual problem) because there were several at different times and were referred to differently depending on who you consulted. So, this one which originally stood at Beacon Hill we're calling St. Joseph Point, which is the name the government uses (but Florida Lighthouse Assn. uses the same name as you). There was a lighthouse, since destroyed, called St. Joseph Bay which stood at the end of St. Joseph Peninsula which we also show on the map.