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Karen Duquette and friends
visited the Ponce De Leon Lighthouse
November 11, 2012

USA map showing location of Floridamap of Florida showing location of Ponce De Leon Lighthousesign: Ponce De Leon Lighthouse - a National Historical Landmark

Karen Duquette and friends visited the Ponce De Leon Lighthouse in Central Florida to learn about the Fresnel lens, the Kedge Anchor, oil lamps, and to climb up to 203 steps of the spiral staircase to the observation deck to see a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and grounds of the lighthouse.

Ponce De Leon Lighthousesign: Ponce De Leon Lighthouse 1887

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponce_de_Leon_Inlet_Light

 

The Ponce de Leon Inlet Light is a lighthouse and museum located at Ponce de León Inlet in Central Florida. At 175 feet in height, it is the tallest lighthouse in the state and one of the tallest in the United States. Restored by the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, the lighthouse became a National Historic Landmark in 1998.

Karen's friends by the Ponce De Leon Lighthouse sign
sign: Ponce De Leon Lighthouse - a National Historical Landmark

clipart: History bookThe first lighthouse for what is now the Ponce de León Inlet was erected on the south side of Mosquito 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 began soon after, and in December 1835 Seminole Indians attacked the lighthouse, smashing 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.

In 1897, author and journalist 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 off the coast of Florida. Crane escaped in a small dinghy with several crewmen, and 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 transferred from the abolished Lighthouse Service to the Coast Guard in 1939, which would oversee it for the next three decades. In 1970, the Coast Guard abandoned the old light station and established a new beacon at New Smyrna Beach. The abandoned property was then deeded to the Town of Ponce Inlet. 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. That same year, the lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ponce De Leon Lighthouse
Ponce De Leon Lighthouse
Yes, Karen Duquette climbed up the 203 step spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse. Lee Duquette stayed in Broward to spend time with family and did not accompany Karen on this trip. So it is not officially a trip of the two RV Gypsies, but it merits listing on this website anyway. Karen & Lee also visited this lighthouse together before they became the two RV Gypsies, and they both climbed up to the top at that time.
Karen Duquette climbed up the 203 step spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse
the 203 step spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse
Bob on the 203 step spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse
the 203 step spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse

Panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean from the observation deck of the Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station and more views from the top of the lighthouse.

Panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean from the observation deck of the Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station

Karen Duquette & friends Jeanne and Bob

Karen Duquette & friend Jeanne
Jeanne and Bob
view from the top of the lighthouse
view from the top of the lighthouse
view from the top of the lighthouse
view from the top of the lighthouse
view from the top of the lighthouse

Below: View of the Fresnel Lens at the top of the lighthouse, and some signs on the wall by the staircase.

sign about the Fresnel Lens at the top of the lighthouse
the Fresnel Lens at the top of the lighthouse
sign about the Fresnel Lens at the top of the lighthouse
sign about the Fresnel Lens at the top of the lighthouse
Fresnel Lens at the top of the lighthouse
Fresnel Lens at the top of the lighthouse
Fresnel Lens at the top of the lighthouse
Fresnel Lens at the top of the lighthouse
Fresnel Lens at the top of the lighthouse

Back on the grounds of the Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station and Museum

sign about other buildings on the lighthouse grounds
sign about the Bronze Bell
 the Bronze Bell

Sign about the 16th Century Anchor and a photo of part of the anchor.

Sign about the 16th Century Anchor
the 16th Century Anchor

Sign about the Kedge Anchor (1830-1860) and photos of part of the anchor.

Sign about the Kedge Anchor
Sign about the Kedge Anchor and photo of the anchor
Sign about the Kedge Anchor and photo of the anchor
sign about the oil storage House
inside the oil storage house
sign about range lights
sign about channel markers
sign about day boards

clipart: History bookPresent day museum:

In 1982 the light was restored to active service, primarily because high-rise 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.

The lighthouse and three keepers' dwellings have been restored, and are open to the public seven days a week. The lighthouse tower is open for climbing. 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. It is just south of Daytona beach.

sign about the lens
Fresnel lens in the museum
Fresnel lens in the museum
Fresnel lens in the museum
Fresnel lens in the museum

Karen Duquette liked this wheelbarrow bench.

wheelbarrow bench

The hotel and Daytona Beach