St. Augustine Lighthouse History

Check Out The Latest Spyglass Magazine!

2023-07-31T10:07:35-04:00July 12th, 2023|

 SPYGLASS MAGAZINE VOLUME 23 ISSUE 1 WHAT'S INSIDE SPYGLASS: THE SHRIMP JOURNEY HISTORIC PRESERVATION LIGHT STATION DISCOVERIES 1782 SHIPWRECK ARTIFACTS CREATING A LEGACY We are more than a lighthouse. We are a nonprofit that puts your dollars to work through historic preservation, education, conservation, archaeology, and shared history of local community and beyond. Thank you to our donors, volunteers, members, visitors, sponsors, ongoing supporters. We continue our mission because of you! You keep the [...]

June 6, 2019: St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum to commemorate 75th anniversary of D-Day

2019-05-28T09:45:29-04:00May 28th, 2019|

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL – The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day on Thursday, June 6, 2019 with special programs honoring our military. The ongoing programming will take place from 10 AM to 6 PM, with free admission for veterans and active U.S. military on this day. The Museum will display “Field of Honor” signs on the front lawn of the Keepers’ House honoring friends and loved ones who [...]

Keepers of the Light

2017-03-29T08:00:49-04:00March 29th, 2017|

Keepers of the Light Alphonso Daniels, 2nd Assistant Keeper, 1928 St. Augustine Lighthouse When you think about lighthouse keepers, what comes to mind? Maybe it is long, lonely nights dutifully keeping the lamps burning for ships unseen. Alternatively, perhaps it is a long day spent painting the lighthouse tower. Lighthouse keeping meant a hard life, especially as we think about it today. Who do you imagine did these tasks? During the lighthouse boom [...]

Immigrant Light Keepers

2016-07-20T08:00:07-04:00July 20th, 2016|

Located in New Jersey, at the mouth of New York Harbor, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse was visible to immigrants on their way to Ellis Island (courtesy of the Library of Congress). The connection between lighthouses and immigrants to the United States is inescapable. Dotting the coastline, the bright beacons were often the first sight of land for many people hoping to find opportunity and freedom in a new land. For some of these immigrants, [...]

Research Reveals Two New Keepers

2016-06-22T08:00:07-04:00June 22nd, 2016|

The “Old Spanish Watchtower” after 1824 Historically, the list of known lighthouse keepers for the St. Augustine Lighthouse has begun with Juan Andreu in 1824, when the United States took over the Florida territory and converted an old watchtower into a US lighthouse. Juan Andreu became light keeper at that time and served until 1845. However, research has revealed two new names to add to the beginning of the list, before even Juan [...]

Constance Fenimore Woolson and “The Ancient City”

2016-05-18T08:00:01-04:00May 18th, 2016|

Constance Fenimore Woolson, an accomplished American writer, spent winters in St. Augustine with her ailing mother from 1873 to 1879. She wove her experiences into her writing, setting several fictional stories and poems in the streets and waterways of the town. She published one such story, aptly titled “The Ancient City,” in Volumes 50 (December 1874) and 51 (January 1875) of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. Her experiences coincided with the recent completion of, what was [...]

Menorcan Keepers at the Old St. Augustine Lighthouse

2020-04-04T11:27:07-04:00March 23rd, 2016|

The Old Spanish Watchtower The Old Spanish Watchtower, manned by Menorcan keepers for most of its history (Photo Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida) Florida’s territorial period began in the 1820s with the ratification of the Adams-Onís Treaty, which transferred the former Spanish colony to the United States. Though the newly acquired territory did not become a state until 1845, the U.S. government immediately set to work extending the young nation’s network of [...]

Lighthouse Technology: What’s a Cistern?

2016-02-17T08:00:03-05:00February 17th, 2016|

This next installment in our series on lighthouse technology focuses on the cistern the lighthouse keepers used to collect rain and provide water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. Click the link below to read previous post in the series: Fresnel Lens Clockwork Mechanism Illuminants Keeping a lighthouse operational required technology we rarely use today: oil lanterns, clockwork mechanisms, and more. Living at a lighthouse, often isolated from towns and lacking indoor plumbing or electricity, lighthouse [...]

Lighthouse Technology: Illumination

2016-01-20T08:00:56-05:00January 20th, 2016|

This next installment in our series on lighthouse technology focuses on the illuminants lighthouses have used, especially those used at the St. Augustine Lighthouse in it history. Click the link below to read previous post in the series: Lighthouse Technology: Fresnel Lens Lighthouse Technology: Clockwork Mechanism Lighthouse Illumination This US Lighthouse Establishment 100 gallon oil butt sits in the oil room of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. Historically, lighthouses have served as a reflection [...]

Lighthouse Technology: Clockwork Mechanism

2015-12-16T08:00:55-05:00December 16th, 2015|

This next installment in our series on lighthouse technology focuses on the clockwork mechanisms that rotate Fresnel lens, giving lighthouses their distinctive flashing patterns. Click the link below to read previous post in the series: Lighthouse Technology: Fresnel Lens Light Characteristic Lighthouses are equipped with unique light characteristic or flashing pattern that sailors can use to identify specific lighthouses during the night. Lighthouses can achieve distinctive light characteristics a few different ways. A lighthouse can [...]

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