A special ceremony on Friday morning, Nov. 14th, will honor craftsman Duane Muzzy and his contribution of an important new piece to the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum collection.

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA. – The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum will soon be able to illustrate an important part of the light station’s history thanks to a generous donation from local resident Duane Muzzy. Over the last several months, Muzzy has been building a scale model of the U.S. Lighthouse Service Tender Fern, a steamship that brought supplies in the St. Augustine Lighthouse in the late 1800s. On Friday, Nov. 14th, at 10:30 a.m., the museum will hold a small reception for museum members and invited guests celebrating the arrival and installation of the new ship model.

“Duane has put a lot of work into this beautiful ship,” said the museum’s Executive Director Kathy A. Fleming. “We are so thankful that he wanted to build this piece of history our museum. The Fern encompasses a great story that we are excited to share with our visitors and the local community.” Fern final 2 11-7-2014

According to the St. Augustine Light Station keepers’ logs, the Fern made supply trips from New York to St. Augustine once a year from 1874 to 1888. Records show the ship tied up at a dock on the Matanzas River, along the west side of Anastasia Island, and brought supplies to the lighthouse via rail cart. In 1891, the Fern was re-assigned to the U.S. Navy fleet where it remained in service until it sank off the coast of Canada in 1906.

Muzzy built the 24-inch model on a 1:96 scale based off plans he obtained from the National Archives in College Park, Md., and old photos of the ship. The model was constructed entirely from scratch, down to the individual deck planks, rigging lines, hand rails and port holes. Immaculately detailed and hand-painted, the model will illustrate an important part of lighthouse life for museum visitors.

Though the St. Augustine Light Station wasn’t as isolated as many coastal lighthouses, the supply ship was still a critical piece of U.S. Lighthouse Service operations. The Fern provided essentials for the light station from fuel oil for the lighthouse lamp to food supplies for the keepers and their families.

The Fern model will be exhibited in the museum Visitors’ Center for guests to view and learn more about the ship’s role in lighthouse history. The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is open 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. seven days a week.



SALHA pivotal navigation tool and unique landmark of St. Augustine for over 140 years, the St. Augustine Light Station is host to centuries of history in the Nation’s Oldest PortSM. Through interactive exhibits, guided tours and maritime research, the 501(c)3 non-profit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is on a mission to preserve, present and keep alive the story of the Nation’s Oldest Port SM as symbolized by our working lighthouse. We are the parent organization to the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.