Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, Florida

The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse was designed by then-Lieutenant George Meade (who later led the victorious Union forces in the Battle of Gettysburg as a general) as part of the coastal development of Florida. The light began service in July of 1860 but during the American Civil War it was out (and its mechanisms hidden by the Confederates to prevent their capture). The light was relit in June of 1866 and has provided continuous service since.

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse

We had a short walk from the museum building to the base of the lighthouse. Our guide stopped in a grove of ficus trees and told us details about the lighthouse before we ascended.


A short climb to a longer climb

Right next to the lighthouse is the original museum that was previously the keeper's house.

Smaller, older museum building

The view of the surrounding area from the base of the lighthouse was not as impressive as the view from above.

View from the base

Entering the lighthouse, we discovered a 100-gallon lard oil butt used to store the original fuel for the lighthouse. The fuel was switched to kerosene in 1886 and to electricity in 1928.

Narrow entrance

100-gallon butt

The stairs up the 108-foot height were the typically terrifying spiral. J was unfazed by going up or down, unlike his parents.

Stairs viewed from below

Hole in the stairs

J as casual as can be

The Fresnel lens at the top is typical for lighthouses. The docent outside explained how it works.

Inside the lens

The views are spectacular from the small walkway just below the lens on the outside of the lighthouse.

Intracoastal waterway and Jupiter Inlet

The inlet

The drawbridge opening

The closed drawbridge (from one of the lower windows)

Ritzy part of Jupiter

After coming down, our guide led us to a plantation house that was moved to the grounds. That will be the next blog post!

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