Cape San Blas Lighthouse

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Located in George Gore Park in Port St. Joe., Port St. Joe, USA

Cape San Blas Lighthouse Port St. Joe Reviews

grandmar grandmar
237 reviews
An Air Force Base Lighthouse Mar 04, 2011
Cape San Blas protrudes from the southernmost point of Florida’s Panhandle and resembles an L-shaped arm, similar to Massachusetts’ Cape Cod.

Beach erosion claimed three earlier lighthouses in 1851, 1857, and 1882. The present skeleton lighthouse has four iron legs that run the length of the tower and are tied together with a network of braces. The central column, which housed the spiral staircase, is different from most used at other lighthouses as it does not extend all the way to the ground. An external metal stairway was used to access the door to the tower. This was to keep the entrance to the tower above any waters that might encroach on the station. The bottom portion of the tower was also supported by four additional legs that extended midway up. The lighthouse was relocated a little over a mile inland in 1918, but it is under attack by the sea again.

The station was quite isolated, with a trip to the nearest settlement requiring a one-way trek of twenty-three miles. Keeper Ray Linton found "the lonely vigil and wide expanse of the Gulf too great a burden," and in 1832, he took his own life. Six years later, Keeper Marler, a 38-year-old father of four children, was attacked and stabbed in a workshop at the station. His six-year-old daughter discovered her father’s body, when she went to call him for the noon meal. The identity of the perpetrator was never discovered.

In 2000, the U.S. Air Force assumed control of the site and began working to stabilize and restore the buildings. Two keeper's houses, collapsing onto the beach early in 1999, were relocated and one was renovated. The other has now also been restored. The original brick oil house also survives. The light may be in operation, but it does not appear on the current USCG Light List.

The station is owned by the Air Force and leased to Gulf County and the St. Joseph Historical Society, and the society has opened it to the public. On September 20, 2008, the tower was opened for guided tours.

Site and tower open Wednesday through Saturday; tower open on Saturday or to groups by prior arrangement.
Cape San Blas Lighthouse
Cape San Blas Lighthouse
Cape San Blas Lighthouse
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photo by: grandmar