April 28, 2011

Road Trip Endeavour-Day 7-Ponce De Leon Inlet Light

location-Ponce Inlet, FL
active beacon-yes
players-Jen, John, Lincoln, Spencer and Jackson

Day 7 of Road Trip Endeavour was action packed.  After another gut busting breakfast, we headed off on another lighthouse exploration.  We were off to explore the Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station.  This is my favorite Florida lighthouse so far.  It is the tallest lighthouse in Florida and the second tallest masonry lighthouse in the United States!  The tower is 175 feet tall and has 203 steps.  The view from the top is AMAZING.  The lighthouse was completed in 1887. Back then Ponce Inlet was called Mosquito Inlet. (They weren't around when we were there, probably not mosquito season yet.)  The lighthouse is currently active and privately maintained by the Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Society.  However, in 1970, it was briefly taken out of commission because the New Smyrna Coast Guard Station had an active beacon and they thought it was unnecessary to have both.  That only lasted 13 years.  It was reactivated in 1983 when condominium development obscured the New Smyrna light.  The preservation society was founded by local residents in 1972 and they worked hard to restore the lighthouse and all the buildings.  In 1998, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.  It is one of the most complete light stations in the United States.

When you visit, plan on spending a couple hours there.  They have several keepers houses, a museum with a big variety of different types of lights and Fresnel lenses, several other work buildings, a boat yard, a nature walk, and don't forget the gift shop (those get us every time).
entrance to the tower

that's a looooong way down!

Mommy & Spencer at the top
no fear Spencer

These stairs were a little to scary for Lincoln.  There is only one rail and it's on the narrow part of the stairs on the opposite side of the wall.  He really likes the wide part and likes to be as close to the wall as possible.  He gave it a shot, but only made it up two flights.  He was very brave for trying though.

breath taking view

aerial view (from their website)
super cute book about "Nelly"-
the lighthouse cat

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