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Ponce de Leon Inlet

Ponce de Leon Inlet

Photo courtesy of Lighthouse Getaway.

    The 175-foot lighthouse at Ponce de Leon Inlet is the nation’s second-tallest light and was the inspiration for Stephen Crane’s famous short story, The Open Boat. Originally named Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse, it was built in 1835 with a first-order Fresnel lens. The Second Seminole Indian War prevented necessary repairs and the lighthouse collapsed a year later. A new tower was completed in 1887 despite being rocked by the 1886 Great Charleston Earthquake at the cost of seven lives. A third-order lens was installed in 1933. Decommissioned in 1970, it was relighted in 1982 with an aero-marine beacon. A lighthouse museum sea museum and period-house museum feature a display of early lighthouse lenses.

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