Places of Interest

Florida Lighthouses

A new passion is slowly creeping into our awareness. Recently we got the chance to visit several lighthouses in Florida. The story behind each one is so unique and interesting. Sometimes it is sad and others humorous unless you were the cat. This will make sense later

We have been traveling the coast of Florida since we entered the state but the lighthouses didn’t get our attention until we got to Jupiter, Fl. Don’t ask me why but until then we hadn’t really noticed one. We saw the Sanibel Island lighthouse from a distance as we crossed back over to the mainland but didn’t even take a picture of it.
Here we are weeks later on the east coast of Florida getting ready to cross the Loxahatchee river and a huge red lighthouse is staring me in the face.

“Wow, let’s go check it out.” I said. We pulled off the road into the parking lot and headed for the visitor’s center. We had our own personal tour of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. Check out the link for the history. The walk up was a bit tiring but the view from the top is spectacular.

After our tour we went through the museum and even had a little serenade by the local musicians. We ate lunch in the rig and hit the road but before long another lighthouse had our attention. This one is located right next to the Anastasia State Park.

St. Augustine lighthouse rises out of the coastal vegatation 165 feet with 219 steps with it’s barber pole design. This lighthouse had landings so it was a bit easier to climb.

The hard work of the lighthouse keepers amazes me. Before electricity the keepers and their assistants carried oil to the top of the lighthouse around the clock to keep them lit. The stories are unbelievable.

In fact, one if the keeper’s children decided to try an experiment. The story goes that Cracker decided to see if a parachute would work on his sister Eliza’s cat. He took the cat to the top with the parachute and dropped it off. Luckily the parachute worked but the cat was so traumatized that it ran away for several months but did return. Eliza never knew what really happened until recently when Cracker, in his 80’s, confessed to his sister what he had done. Better late than never.

There are so many more lighthouses to see on our next journey into Florida. Looking forward to every one of them, and for that matter lighthouses all along the US coasts.

-M-

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