Cape San Blas
Lighthouses of Florida's Gulf Coast
To visit the Cape San Blas Lighthouse, take Hwy 30 west from Apalachicola.  When you come to a sharp right curve in the road, make a left on County Road 30.  You will then come to another sharp right curve in the road.  Here you will continue going straight and you will be on Cape San Blas Light Drive (shown in photo above).  Then make a right on to Keepers Cottage Way.  The lighthouse will be on your right.  Renovation of the second house has been completed and now is home to a gift shop that is open Wed – Friday 11-5 and Sat 10-4.  A mini museum is being established upstairs in anticipation that the tower will be available for climbing in late August of 2008.
All photos contained in this site, © 2001-2007 Wilmoth Photography.  Images and text may not be used from this website without written permission.
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Once the need for a lighthouse on Cape San Blas was evident, construction began, and the lighthouse was completed and put into service in 1851.  The lighthouse was built to warn mariners of the dangerous underwater shoals just off shore.  It effectively marked the cape for four years, when a hurricane blew down the tower in 1855.  Construction began on almost immediate on a new tower, but the climate and widespread sickness hampered construction.  Finally, in 1860, the new tower was completed, and the new light was put in to operation.  A few months later, a gale blew in off of the Gulf and knocked down the lighthouse.

Unwilling to give up, the Lighthouse Board ordered construction of another lighthouse.  The new tower was completed and ready for service just before the Civil War.  This time, the lighthouse was threatened by confederate troops who burned the keeper's quarters and everything else that could be burned on the site.  The tower its self was not destroyed, and the light was relit shortly after the end of the war.

In the late 1870's, the lighthouse was again in danger.   This time, the threat came from the eroding waves of the Gulf.  In 1880, the water had reached the base of the tower and in less than two years, the lighthouse stood in eight feet of water.  The persistent waves finally undermined the foundation, causing it to fall into the ocean.

Yet again, plans were made for a new structure to mark the cape.  This structure would be quite different than the previous ones.  The new lighthouse was to be a lightweight, 98
Cape San Blas Lighthouse
Photo taken on May 23, 2003
Restored Keeper's Quarters
Assistant Keeper's Quarters is in need of major repairs and looks close to falling in.
Photo taken on May 23, 2003
Photo taken on May 23, 2003
Photo taken on May 23, 2003
Photo taken on May 23, 2003
The lighthouse compound.
Lantern Room and the "Clam Shell" Lens
Photo taken on May 23, 2003
Entrance way to the lighthouse area.
                                                                                               foot iron skeleton tower, designed to make it less susceptible to wind and able to be moved to protect it from the encroaching Gulf.  By 1885, the new lighthouse was in place and put in to service.  This lighthouse still stands and is in operation today, even though the lighthouse has been moved twice to protect it from erosion.