Lighthouse celebrates 140 years

The St. Augustine lighthouse has a very rich history here in St. Augustine. Located on Anastasia Island, the structure has helped guide sailors for almost 140 years now. In 1874 the lighthouse was finished, and thanks to several restorations it still stands today as it did then. The first Florida lighthouse was constructed in 1824 on Anastasia Island but collapsed in 1880 due to shoreline erosion.

Light keepers lived and worked on-site until 1955 when the lighthouse became automated. The Fresnel lens of the lighthouse was handmade in France and projects a rotating light that can be seen up to 20 miles away. The lens suffered vandalism in 1986 when a man shot the lens with a .22 caliber bullet. Lampist Joe Cocking, who restored the lens in 1986, is currently doing another restoration to help preserve the lens' integrity. Heat, daily rotation of the lens, and salt water have weathered the lens, but thanks to the efforts of the staff, then lens will soon be restored to its original state.

The 140th celebration will be hosted by the director of museum conservation, Kathleen McCormick. All visitors to this ceremony will receive a visitor’s pass to the lighthouse and museum. Adults are $9.95 and children are $7.95. This is the perfect opportunity for visitors and residents to celebrate an amazing piece of St. Augustine's history. Join the lighthouse staff Wednesday, October 15th for a fun celebration of history.