Joan and I have been traveling to Dayton Beach, FL since our teens, then with the kids and now the extended family with the grandkids in tow. Most of our time was spent at the beach and up at the strip doing all things Daytona tourist. Now as part of RV life, Joan and I are stretching out and extending our reach as we travel. Today, I found an amazing treat that I had no idea existed, the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse located just a few miles south of Daytona Beach on A1A. Wow, what a treat to see life experienced by the lighthouse keepers and of course, walk the 203 steps to the top landing of the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse.
The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is an amazing structure. Construction of the lighthouse began in 1884 and was completed three years later in 1887. The lighthouse was constructed with 1.25 million bricks and when completed is 176 feet 6.5 inches from the ground to the tip of the lightening rod. For support, the tower sits on a foundation that is 45 feet wide and 12 feet deep. The base of the tower is 28 feet wide with walls that are 8 feet thick and the tower reduces to 16 feet in diameter with 1.5 foot thick walls. There are 213 steps from the ground level to the lantern room. It was first lit on November 1, 1887 with a kerosene lamp and was visible 20 miles out to sea.
A number of lighthouse keepers and their family lived on the grounds and maintained the lighthouse until 1953. The Coast Guard abandons the old light station in 1970, but fortunately in 1972 the Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association was founded as a non-profit organization with the mission to restore and operate the property as a museum.
The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and the surround property with homes and museum are a treasure. It was a great experience to see how life may have been for the lighthouse keepers and walk the 203 steps to the top of the lighthouse and see the ocean, beach and surrounding area.
For more information about the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, visit https://www.ponceinlet.org/
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