Sunday, October 22, 2017

ST. MARKS LIGHTHOUSE

Location: APPALACHEE BAY, ENTRANCE TO ST. MARKS RIVER, NEAR TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA
Station Established: 1831 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1842
Operational? YES
Automated? 1960
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: STONE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

  • St. Marks Light is the second oldest light station in Florida. The original lighthouse was completed in 1831. Erosion, always a threat to coastal lights threatened St. Marks as well. The tower was torn down and moved to a location further inland. The original lantern and lighting apparatus were installed in the new tower.
  • The second tower survived until the Civil War. In 1865, the tower suffered tremendous damage from confederate forces. The tower did not collapse. It was rebuilt and relit in 1867. During the rebuild, it was raised to 73 feet.
  • The original fourth order lens was replaced with a fifth order. It was automated in 1960.
  • The light is operational and an active aid to navigation. The light tower is owned by the U. S Fish and Wildlife Service. It is in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. The grounds are open to the public but the light is not.

Keepers:

  • Samuel Crosby (1830-1841)
  • Benjamin Metcalf (1839- died same year)
  • John P. Hungerford (1840 - ?)
  • Needham Dudley (1844-1850)