Scenic USA - Florida

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

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Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse - Ponce Inlet, Florida

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Ben's Panoramio Gallery

   Florida's coastline, one of the longest in the United States, still retains 30 of its historic lighthouses. Near today's Daytona Beach, the first Ponce Inlet Lighthouse was built alongside Mosquito Inlet in 1887. This treacherous cut along the Atlantic Coast, just north of the city of New Smyrna, received its first beacon in 1834. Oil to power the lamps never arrived. The following year after construction, a powerful storm washed away the light-keeper's quarters and undermined the lighthouse foundation. Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Veterans Memorial - Ponce, Florida The Seminole Indians finished off the structure, smashing the lantern room and setting the stairs on fire. The replacement lighthouse was built on the northern shore of the inlet to avoid further erosion problems, using over a million colorful bricks on the inner and outer walls.
   Today, Lighthouse fans will find the Ponce de Leon Inlet renamed after the famed explorer, and the name also carries over to this well preserved lighthouse and light station. The lighthouse bears the distinction as a National Historic Landmark and is operated by the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association. Personal small group-tours are offered through a program called Climb with the Keepers. Museum exhibits add a fascinating look at historic lighthouse equipment, area shipwrecks and lives of the lighthouse keepers.

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