Jupiter Inlet Light Jupiter, Florida
Jupiter Inlet Light was first lit in 1860 after a difficult and lengthy construction which was hampered by heat, mosquitos, and Seminole Indians. Confederate troops put out the light only one year later, and it wasn't relit until 1866. The 125 ft. tower is a little short for a coastal light, but it sits on a hill, giving it a focal plane of around 150 feet.
The first-order lens, installed during the 1860 construction, is still in use. A bad hurricane in the 1950's damaged one of the bulls-eyes. It was meticulously glued back together to save the irreplacable lens.
Jupiter inlet is about 15 miles north of Palm Beach, and is famous for being the home of Burt Reynolds. The light is on a Coast Guard base, but is easily viewed from across the inlet. The tower is open for climbing and there is a museum open Sun.-Wed., 10:00-4:00. Admission is $5, call(561) 747-8380 for more info.
The U.S. government designated Pensacola as a Naval base way back in 1824, and authorized a lighthouse for the location--making Pensacola the oldest lighthouse site on the Gulf Coast. The original light was never tall enough or bright enough for such an important location, and was finally replaced in 1859. The tower's impressive height of 171 feet is augmented by it's location on a hill, giving Pensacola a focal plane of 210 feet. The current first-order lens has revolving bulls-eyes to give the light its characteristic flash.
During the Civil War, Confederate troops bombarded Pensacola. The tower survived with minor damage, but the original first-order lens was destroyed. During the period from 1863-69 a fourth-order lens served temporary duty until the present lens replaced it.