Ponce De Leon Inlet Lightstation - Ponce Inlet, FL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ChapterhouseInc
N 29° 04.837 W 080° 55.683
17R E 507002 N 3216919
Quick Description: The tallest lighthouse in Florida has been preserved and now serves as a maritime museum. Is listed as a National Historic Landmark as well.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 10/16/2009 10:12:04 AM
Waymark Code: WM7EYG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 20

Long Description:
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
Completed in 1887, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station was built when the area was known as Mosquito Inlet. After decades of restoration by the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, it stands today as one of the best preserved, most complete Light Stations in the nation.

Visit Florida's tallest lighthouse
Visited by over 125,000 people each year, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998. The lighthouse tower and museum are located 12 miles south of Daytona Beach and are open to the public year round. The lighthouse is close to Orlando attractions, historic St. Augustine, and the Kennedy Space Center. The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in Florida and the second tallest masonry lighthouse in the nation. Visitors can climb 203 steps to the top of the 175 foot tower and enjoy magnificent views of the World's Most Famous Beach, Ponce Inlet, and surrounding inland waterways from the lighthouse gallery deck.

Fresnel Lenses and Florida history
The lighthouse keepers' dwellings and other historic light station buildings are now home to our lighthouse museum, which features exhibits on lighthouse life, Daytona Beach and Florida history, lighthouse and Fresnel lens restoration, shipwrecks, and the lighthouse keepers and their families. The Ayres Davies Lens Exhibit Building houses one of the finest collections of restored Fresnel lenses in the world, including the rotating first order Fresnel lens from the Cape Canaveral lighthouse and the restored original Ponce Inlet lighthouse first order Fresnel lens.

(visit link)
Ponce de Leon Inlet Light
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The lighthouse at Ponce de Leon Inlet, at 175 feet in height, is the tallest lighthouse in Florida and the one of the tallest in the United States (the Cape Hatteras Light in North Carolina is taller at 207 feet). It is located between St. Augustine Light and Cape Canaveral Light. The Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station became a National Historic Landmark in 1998.

The first real lighthouse for what is now the Ponce de Leon Inlet was erected on the south side of Mosquito Inlet (the present Ponce de León Inlet) in 1835. Unfortunately, the oil for the lamp was never delivered, and soon after the tower was completed a strong storm washed much of the sand from around the base of the tower, weakening it. The Second Seminole War had started, and in December 1835 Seminole Indians attacked the lighthouse, smashing all the glass in the lantern room and setting fire to its wooden stairs. The area was abandoned. The war prevented repairs from being made to the tower, and it collapsed the next year.

There were many shipwrecks along the coast near the Mosquito Inlet, but it was not until 1883 that another effort was made to place a light there. The new lighthouse was designed by Francis Hopkinson Smith, with construction supervised by Orville E. Babcock until his death by drowning in the Mosquito Inlet in 1884. The tower was completed and the lamp lit in 1887.

In 1897 Stephen Crane was en route to cover a brewing revolt against Spanish rule in Cuba, when the ship he was on, the SS Commodore, sank. Crane escaped in a small dinghy with several crewmen. They eventually sighted and steered for the Mosquito Inlet Light. Crane used this experience in his short story "The Open Boat".

The original lamp burned kerosene. In 1909 it was replaced with an incandescent oil vapor lamp. In 1924 a generator was installed to provide electricity in the keepers' dwellings and to pump water, replacing an old windmill pump. The lighthouse beacon was electrified in 1933 with a 500-watt lamp. The first order Fresnel lens was replaced with a third order rotating Fresnel lens at the same time.

In 1927 the name of Mosquito Inlet was changed to Ponce de Leon Inlet. The lighthouse was deactivated by the Coast Guard in 1970, and the Coast Guard established a beacon at New Smyrna Beach. At the urging of concerned citizens, the Town of Ponce Inlet accepted the Light Station property from the Coast Guard in 1972, and the Lighthouse Preservation Association was formed to manage the museum. The lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places that same year. In 1982 the light was restored to active service, primarily because highrise buildings blocked the Coast Guard's beacon on the other side of the inlet. The Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station was designated a National Historic Landmark on August 5, 1998, one of only ten lighthouses to earn this designation.

Present day
The lighthouse and three keepers' dwellings have been restored, and are open to the public. The original 1867 Barbier et Fenestre first order fixed lens (installed 1887), and 1860 "Henry Lepaute" rotating first order Fresnel lens used at Cape Canaveral Light Station are all on display at the museum. The 1904 Barbier Benard et Turenne rotating third order Fresnel lens has been restored to service in the tower, which operates today as a private aid to navigation and is maintained by the museum staff.

(visit link)
Street address:
4931 S Peninsula Dr
Ponce Inlet, FL usa

County / Borough / Parish: Volusia

Year listed: 1972

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Architecture/Engineering, Event

Periods of significance: 1875-1899, 1900-1924, 1925-1949

Historic function: Defense, Domestic, Transportation: Coast Guard Facility, Institutional Housing, Water-Related

Current function: Defense, Recreation And Culture: Coast Guard Facility, Museum

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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