Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Lighthouse on Cape Canaveral

The current Cape Canaveral Light is not the first lighthouse on Cape Canaveral

A 60-foot (18 m) tall brick structure was built on the Cape in 1848. The light consisted of 15 lamps each with a 21-inch (530 mm) reflector. The first lighthouse keeper left the lighthouse during a Seminole War scare, and refused to return to his post. Sailors heavily criticized the lighthouse, with complaints that the light was too weak and too low to be seen before ships were on the reefs near the Cape. the government contracted for construction of a new lighthouse in 1860, but the start of the American Civil War stopped work. The lamps and mechanism for the light were removed from the lighthouse and buried in the lighthouse keeper's orange grove to protect them from Federal raids.

At the end of the war construction resumed on the lighthouse. It was completed in 1868, receiving a first-order Fresnel lens. Erosion of the shoreline threatened the lighthouse, and the United States Congress appropriated funds to move the lighthouse inland. The old (1848) was blown up and the rubble used to prepare a foundation of the lighthouse. The cast-iron tower was disassembled, moved and reassembled at the new location. The move took 18 months, and the lighthouse was re-lit at its new location in 1894.

The Lighthouse today

When rockets began launching from the Cape in the early 1950s, all residents except the lighthouse keeper were relocated to other areas. In 1954, the need for a keeper to live nearby was eliminated by automating the light. Soon after, the keeper's homes were demolished. After it was discovered that strong vibrations that accompany launches were damaging the first-order Fresnel lens, it was removed in 1993 and placed on display in a museum at the Ponce de Leon Inlet Light. Since toxic lead paint was used to paint the lighthouse, in 1995, a restoration project began to sand blast the harmful paint off.

Ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the United States Air Force in 2000 (the lighthouse is located inside the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station). 
It is the only fully operational lighthouse owned by the United States Air Force.

In 2003, the oil house was restored to its original (1890s) state (strong winds had damaged the roof in the 1970s and a window was added in the early 1900s). In 2006, another project restored the lantern room and the structure was repainted using modern materials. Ground sample tests, however, still show a very high level of lead in the soil around the tower. As a result, visitors are not allowed within fifty yards of the base until it is cleaned up.
The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation and volunteers are instrumental in restoration projects and in interpreting the lighthouse history. The Foundation has a website at http://www.CanaveralLight.org
Hi my friends,
I hope you find this interesting. The picture above of the lighthouse I made some days ago, the text is from Wikipedia. If interested to read more go to their site.

Thanks also for all your wonderful comments and compliments to my last post.
Next Thursday is "Photo-swap-Thursday" again, keep it in mind :))
Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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nothingprofound said...

I've always wondered what it would be like to be a lighthouse keeper. To be alone like that for so many hours, just staring at the sea.

Susanne49 said...

You would have to love a life similar to an eremite or a monk, I think. If you like to be by your self it's probably a real "dream job", I would imagine that!

I think, I could do it :))

Thanks for your kind comment, Marty!

A Lady's Life said...

I feel so sorry for this light house.
So much turmoil over and around it.

I wouldn't mind being a light house keeper. You only need it at night The day time is for yourself and what better way to make a living while being still free to do what you like to do.If you have a family you can share the lighthouse chore.It's not as bad as it sounds. One can survive.

Susanne49 said...

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Lady. Very much appreciated. I like the way you're thinking :)

Marcie said...

Wonderful landscape. Love that lighthouse in the background.

Susanne49 said...

Thank you for the comment, Marcie! That was the closest I could get to it - and it's pity that I had not a bigger lens with me.


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