Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Lighthouse Series: Ponce de Leon Lighthouse

 The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is located in central Florida.  It stands 175 feet tall and is Florida's tallest light.  This tower was the third attempt at a lighthouse in the Mosquito Inlet and was completed in 1887.  When lit, the light could be seen 20 miles away.
The original light burned kerosene and in 1909 was replaced with incandescent oil vapor.  In 1924 a generator was installed to provide electricity for the lighthouse keepers and to pump water.  The light was electrified in 1933.  In 1927 the Mosquito Inlet name was changed to Ponce de Leon Inlet and in 1939 was taken over by the Coast Guard.  In 1970, the Coast Guard abandoned the property and created a new light at New Smyrna Beach.  In 1972 the town of Ponce Inlet and the Lighthouse Preservation Association was formed to manage a museum.  In 1982 the light was restored to working order  because skyscrapers blocked the only working lighthouse on the other side of the inlet. Currently, the lighthouse as well as three lighthouse keepers' quarters is open to the public seven days a week.  The tower is open for climbing.

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