Scenic USA - Florida
Amelia Island Lighthouse
|Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website
Second only to Alaska in shoreline mileage, Florida's lengthy 1350 mile coastline was protected by a long string of lighthouses during the late 1800s. Today, 30 lighthouses remain, with over a dozen still in use as active navigation aids.
Florida's oldest lighthouse, dating back to the state's Territorial Period, rests on a tall dune on Amelia Island overlooking coastal marshland, Egans Creek and the Atlantic Ocean.
Designed by Winslow Lewis, the lighthouse was built inland, surviving the harsh elements of a saltwater environment and devastating hurricanes. One of 16 lighthouses built in the Territorial Period from 1821 to 1845, the 67 foot tower has survived without a major renovation. Standing on top of Egans Bluff, the light station includes an oil house, support building, and the double walled lighthouse tower. Oil lamps were replaced with a third order Fresnel lens that is still in place today. The tower's hand cut granite stair steps are most unique. Above the first flight of stone stairs, two additional flights of metal stairs spiral to the top.
Tours of the lighthouse may be booked in advance, and are conducted the first and third Wednesday of the month. The light station is surrounded by a residential neighborhood, found at the intersection of Lighthouse Circle and Ohagan. The grounds are open from 11am to 2pm every Saturday.
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