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St. Johns Light Ship

St. Johns Light Ship

Photo courtesy of the Florida Photo Archives.

    St. Johns Lightship was part of a plan authorized by Congress in 1910 to improve navigation aids by putting lightships into service along the Atlantic seaboard. By 1920 there were 49 lightships operating around the county. Lightship 84, built in New Jersey in 1907, was transferred in 1929 from Brunswick, Georgia to Florida, where it was anchored seven miles off the mouth of the St. Johns River. The lightship augmented the old St. Johns River Lighthouse, but was removed from its station in 1954 when the St. Johns Light Station came into service just south of the river's mouth. Number 84 then served as a relief lightship in New York before the Coast Guard decommissioned it in 1965. By 1985 all lightships had been deactivated. Ownership of the old lightship changed hands several times before it sank in the Erie Basin, New York City, in 1996.

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