Lighthouse 144th Anniversary

Date: 13-Oct-2018

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St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum celebrates 144th Anniversary  

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum will celebrate the 144th Anniversary of the Lighthouse this year, built from 1871 to 1874. The lighthouse was lit on October 15, 1874.  At the top, the original, first order Fresnel lens still serves the beacon, but today is lit by a 1000-watt bulb, maintained by the Museum and volunteers. The St. Augustine lens consists of 370 hand-cut glass prisms arranged in a beehive shape, towering twelve feet tall and six feet in diameter.

An anniversary celebration will take place on Saturday, October 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring Meet-the-Lighthouse-Keeper photos, a cake cutting at 2 p.m., games on the front lawn, and self-guided tours of the historic tower and Museum exhibits.

The Lighthouse is St. Augustine's oldest surviving brick structure, and today it is restored to colors and materials used the year 1888. The St. Augustine Lighthouse rises 165 feet above sea level and contains 219 steps that are climbed by visitors.

Today the Museum uses admission and store sales, as well as memberships and donations, to protect the original restoration to Department of the Interior standards. The non-profit, private Museum also provides educational services to the community, supports at-risk children and funds a maritime archaeology program that studies shipwrecks in the waters of the Nation's Oldest Port.

In July 2002, the U.S. Coast Guard, through the National Park Service and the General Services Administration, transferred the deed for the tower to the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, Inc. through the pilot program of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. The Museum won a National Trust for Historic Preservation award in recognition of their work in helping to transfer historic lighthouses to non-profits for this law.  In addition, the Coast Guard turned over the first-order, Fresnel lens to the Museum. The Museum now operates the site as a private-aid-to-navigation and literally keeps the light shining. 

Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission is $12.95 for adults; $10.95 for seniors and children under 12; free for children less than 44 inches (unable to climb the tower). Resident and Membership packages also are available.

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81 Lighthouse Avenue
St. Augustine, Florida 32080
904.829.0745