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The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse ,built in 1887, is located at the Ponce de Leon Inlet south of the city of Daytona Beach. At 175 feet, itís the tallest lighthouse in the state of Florida, and one of the tallest in the U.S. The lighthouse became a National Historic Landmark in 1998, one of only ten lighthouses in the United States to earn this designation. The lighthouse and three keepers' dwellings have been restored, and are open to the public seven days a week. Visitors may climb the lighthouse tower for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and coastline. There is a museum on the grounds, as well. In the museum is the original 1867 Barbier et Fenestre first order fixed lens (installed 1887), and 1860 "Henry Lepaute" rotating first order Fresnel lens used at Cape Canaveral Light Station.

History of the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse:
The first lighthouse at the Ponce de Leůn Inlet was erected on the south side of Mosquito Inlet in 1835. The oil for the lamp was never delivered, and soon after the tower was completed a strong storm washed much of the sand from around the base of the tower, weakening it. In December 1835 Seminole Indians attacked the lighthouse during the Second Seminole War, smashing the glass in the lantern room and setting fire to its wooden stairs. Consequently, the tower was abandoned, and it collapsed the next year. There were dozens of shipwrecks along the coast near the area, but attempts to build another lighthouse didnít occur until 1883. The construction was supervised by Chief Engineer Orville E. Babcock until his death by drowning in the Mosquito Inlet in 1884. The tower was completed, and the lamp lit in 1887. The lamp could be seen 17 nautical miles away.

In 1927 the name of Mosquito Inlet was changed to Ponce de Leon Inlet. The lighthouse was transferred from the abolished Lighthouse Service to the Coast Guard in 1939. In 1970, the Coast Guard abandoned the old light station and established a new one at New Smyrna Beach. The abandoned property and lighthouse at Ponce Inlet was then deeded to the Town of Ponce Inlet. In 1972 the Lighthouse Preservation Association was formed to manage the museum, and that same year, the lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places


 
 
 

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