Scenic USA - Florida

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.


Cape San Blas Lighthouse

Cape San Blas Lighthouse - Florida

Photo by Ben Prepelka

Cape San Blas is located in Florida's Big Bend area, near the beginning of state's panhandle. This 750 acre tract of sand and pine is part of the Eglin Air Force Base Test Site D-3. Found on the elbow of the St. Joseph Peninsula, the lighthouse was built to protect shipping vessels from a dangerous shoal that spreads out five to six miles from Cape San Blas.
The first lighthouse, completed in 1849, lasted just two years, destroyed by a Gulf of Mexico hurricane. Surviving minimal damage during the Civil War, beach erosion took its toll the the lighthouse replacement.
Today's skeletal tower was built in the north and shipped to the cape. During transit, the ship sank and the lighthouse tower had to be salvaged from the sea. Keeping a lighthouse on the cape continued to be an on-going struggle. The skeletal tower was erected in 1885 and encountered a powerful storm in 1894. Its open design spared the structure from total destruction, but beach erosion took it toll on the foundation. By 1918 the lighthouse was moved inland to its present day location. Sleeping Beauty Gift Shop
Cape San Blas Lighthouse relocation left behind its keeper's quarters, suffering hurricane damage and years of neglect. Moved to the lighthouse site, the two structures became Air Force responsibility. Both have been restored and add a wonderful touch of old Florida. The Sleeping Beauty Gift Shop, undergoing a long process of restoration, saw its ribbon cutting ceremony in October, 2007. The lighthouse and gift shop, doubling a museum, are open for tours on an abbreviated schedule.



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