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Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

Photo courtesy of VISIT FLORIDA.

    The104-foot iron-pile Sanibel Island Lighthouse was completed in 1884 after 51 years of requests for a navigational aid. Its third-order Fresnel lens then became a midpoint light between Egmont Key (Tampa) and Key West. Manufactured in New Jersey and shipped to Florida, the tower was lost in a shipwreck two miles from its destination. Divers salvaged all but two small brackets. The pyramidal, 127-step iron tower and two keeper’s houses are the oldest buildings on Sanibel Island. The original light was a fixed white beam that varied with a brighter flash every two minutes. The current optic that produces two grouped flashes every ten seconds was installed in 1965. Still active, the lighthouse is not open to the public; the keepers’ houses are used by employees of the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

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