The Sanibel Island Lighthouse
I have seen about 8 lighthouses through out the U.S, 6 located in Florida. I would like to catalog the lighthouses I visit and share a brief summary of their history. I hope to see at least 6 different lighthouses this year.
The first lighthouse this year is a local aid to navigation I have visited a great number of times.
The Sanibel Island Light Station was first lit on August 20th, 1884. The lighthouse marks the entrance to San Carlos Bay leading to port of Punta Rassa. At that point the route was primarily used by cattle barons for shipping livestock (around 200 or more cattle per ship) to Cuba. Still standing tall the tower has been under the care of 8 keepers and is currently operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. Skeletal towers were very popular during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth since they cost less than half the price of stone or brick lighthouses.
A sign at the base of the Lighthouse reads “The first permanent English-speaking settlers on Sanibel Island arrived from New York in 1833 as part of a colony planned by land investors. Although that settlement was short-lived. The initial colonists petitioned the U.S. government for the construction of a lighthouse on the island. No action was taken on that proposal at the time. By the late 1870’s, sea-going commerce in the area had increased in volume The U.S. Lighthouse Bureau took the initiative in requesting funds for a lighthouse for Sanibel Island, and in 1884, construction of the tower began. The station was lighted for the first time in August, 1884. The significance of the Sanibel Lighthouse lies in the regular and reliable service it has provided for travelers along Florida’s West Coast. Since 1950, the U.S. Coast Guard property at the lighthouse has been a wildlife refuge.”
30 Lighthouses remain in Florida today.