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~Ron's World12~

Cape Canaveral Light Cape Canaveral Airforce Station, Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

The only way to get near this light is by taking the "blue" bus tour from the Visitor's Center, or during weekends when private vehicles are allowed to drive around the Kennedy Space Center. The lighthouse was completed in 1868, but dismantled and moved a mile west in 1893 when beach erosion threatened. The lighthouse, however, is hardly the main attraction on Cape Canaveral! The bus tour that passes by the light also includes stops at the original Mercury and Gemini launch pads and Mission Control Centers. These sites seem eerily antiquated after the passage of more than 30 years. Looking at the crude Mission Control Center reminded me of a visit to the Wright Brothers' hanger at Kitty Hawk .... during another lighthouse caper, of course.

Cape San Blas Light Port St. Joe, Florida.

The history of lighthouses at Cape San Blas is a curious and checkered litany of bad decisions and bad luck. The light established in 1847 was blown over in a storm four years later. A second tower lasted only a few months before receiving the same treatment. The tower was rebuilt in 1859, only to be blown up by the Confederates during the Civil War. Repairs after the war were followed by 15 years of relative calm for Cape San Blas. By 1880, however, the tower was surrounded by encroaching water and eventually toppled over. The present 90 foot, pyamidal skeleton tower was completed in 1885 and fitted with a third-order lens. Within a few years it too was threatened by water, and Congress authorized funds to move it. The move to a new location to Black's Island was begun, but the Lighthouse Board changed its mind and relit the tower back in the original location. While the authorities fumbled along with new plans, the erosion reversed and the water receded. The story ends in 1919 when the waters returned and the tower was moved a quarter-mile to its present location.