PHOTOS: Spirits reportedly haunt these places across Volusia County

The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum is reportedly haunted by a few spirits, including Joseph Davis who was working as the assistant lightkeeper when he suffered a heart attack in 1919, according to

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Tag archives: ponce inlet lighthouse, spotlight on ponce de león inlet lighthouse, dave lapham, author of  ghosthunting florida ,  puts the spotlight on the ponce de león inlet lighthouse.

Eventually, after many shipwrecks near the Mosquito Inlet, a lighthouse was finally erected and put into operation in 1887. At the south end of Daytona Beach, the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse was not bad duty. Still, the original kerosene lamp needed constant attention, as did the later incandescent oil vapor lamp, and the light keeper had little free time.

Even though the lighthouse was near Daytona, living at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse was relatively isolated, and the keepers and their families were often lonely. Although there were few suicides and infirmities associated with isolation at the lighthouse, those who lived there had their problems.

Ghosts Roam the Keeper’s Quarters of Ponce de León Inlet Lighthouse

The lighthouse itself doesn’t seem to be haunted, at least not according to my ghost ferret, Joanne, but the keepers’ quarters brim with paranormal activity. There are three keeper’s houses. One is glassed off for viewing only, which, according to Joanne, is a pity, because it is “full of feeling.” She is desperate to get in the house and check it out.

The third house is also glassed off, but there is on display a weird-looking china doll, something like the doll in the Audubon House in Key West. It immediately caught Joanne’s attention. She started taking digital photographs at an angle so she wouldn’t get any reflection. She took several pictures; when she looked at them, there was an orb. It moved around in each frame. She took more pictures. The orb seemed to have a mind of its own. Finally, she decided she’d experienced enough and left the house.

But as she departed, a feeling came over her, as though something had attached itself to her. She went to the restroom and the feeling still clung to her. “Get off me,” she demanded in a loud, angry voice. Several women in the restroom stared at her, but the feeling left.

Someday Joanne hopes to get into all of the keepers’ houses and do a real walk-through. She’d like to find out exactly what had been clinging to her. As for me, I’ll wait for her at the bar down the road on the Inlet.

Photo credits:  Outside view: By ErgoSum88 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Interior of the lighthouse: By Ebyabe (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

The lighthouse is said to be haunted by a few spirits, one of which is said to be assistant lightkeeper Joseph Davis, who had a heart attack while working in 1919. The unexplained waft of kerosene sometimes detected here is attributed to his ghost. Kerosene has not been used in the lighthouse since 1933. Another haunt who resides here is believed to be a former lightkeeper’s son, who died after being kicked by a horse. His ghost plays pranks and opens and closes doors. Orbs also are said to appear around the grounds.

If you've had a paranormal experience here, or have any additional information about this location, please let us know!

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Please note: It is your responsibility to acquire appropriate permissions before investigating any location listed on this site. Private property should be respected at all times, as should all posted signs concerning trespassing, hours of operation and other local regulations. Many "ghost hunters" have been arrested because they failed to contact property owners and/or local authorities ahead of time.

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Comments (10).

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I went on vacation there and all our photos turned out fuzzy…except a single one in which a ghostly apparition can be seen. (hint: look near the sleeve of the white dress and you can see fingers. Near the neck is a face, and a weird aura.

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I don’t see it, but I do see something different. Look to the right of the white dress up higher !

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The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is not haunted! There are no ghosts, pranksters or otherwise. The only pranksters are the people who put up this listing. As far as the odor of kerosene in the historic oil storage building, the old kerosene tanks that remain in the structure are the source of the smell. As for the ghostly fingers in April’s photo – that’s lace on the cuff.

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As I was back down the lighthouse tower after reaching the top I felt something Lift my hair and I went into a full panic attack trying to get back down the staircase. Crazy experience.

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I was in the lighthouse itself; climbing the steps. I kept feeling like I was being followed closely; but there was no one directly behind me like I felt.

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I’ve been here with my family and some aunts and uncles a number of times, most recently being probably 2002. One time we went there after dinner nearby at Down the Hatch, and of course we couldn’t go into any of the buildings because the facility was closed (it was almost 8 or 9pm), so we just walked around the grounds and looked at everything from the outside. I’m not one to really believe in ghosts, but as I stood off by myself in the center lawn I happened to look up at one of the second story windows of one of the outbuildings and I saw a white figure standing there. I looked away and looked back and it was gone. I’m not sure what I saw. I know it was not the reflection of any lights or anything like that.

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i live in ponce and i can literally walk 5 minutes from my house to the lighthouse and i have never seen a ghost there in my life, but the tomoka lights are a different story

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Me and my husband just left visiting the lighthouse not long ago. We didn’t even get to tour the actual light house due to the weather but we went through the little house museums and my husband was back in one of the bed rooms and I was in the front hallway (he was where I could see him ) so I knew it was not him we were the only ones there visiting and there was no porch on the side of the house and I heard footsteps and the chair slide across the floor on its own. I asked ” is there someone else in here?” He said no. I didn’t see anything but I know what I heard.

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This was not there when I took the pic

ponce inlet lighthouse ghost

I was just on a boat tour nearby. We were told the house near it the person who owned the land owned is haunted even worse. It has had crazy death stories. Once there was a husband and wife who lived there. The husband was laying bricks and died from injuries immediately when he was caught in a boat string. Then in the same 6 hour window his wife died in child birth. Also there is a rocking chair with a ghost tethered to it. An old woman. The chair had been outside said house until hurricane erma when it was moved inside. It is crazy freaky and what led me to this site.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.

ponce inlet lighthouse ghost

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum

ponce inlet lighthouse ghost

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Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

  • (3.40 mi) Inn On The Avenue Bed & Breakfast
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  • (0.08 mi) Hidden Treasure Rum Bar & Grill
  • (0.13 mi) LightHouse Ice Cream
  • (0.37 mi) Down the Hatch Seafood Restaurant
  • (0.60 mi) Jerry's Pizzeria Tiki Bar & Grill
  • (1.76 mi) Lost Lagoon Wings & Grill
  • (0.08 mi) Daytona Beach Parasail
  • (0.07 mi) Fun Cat Sailing
  • (0.08 mi) Ponce Inlet Watersports
  • (0.07 mi) Water Taxi Express
  • (0.09 mi) Driftwood Charters

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum Information

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Catch the Spirit of '45 Day at Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

Catch the Spirit of '45 Day at Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

It is important to explore our history, listen to the stories and preserve the memories of those who lived it. Catch the Spirit of ‘45 Day during your visit to Ponce Inlet Lighthouse on August 15 th , 2021!

This special date was established in 2010 by an act of Congress in recognition of August 14, 1945, the day when President Truman formally announced that World War II had officially come to an end.  Spontaneous celebrations occurred all over the world, applauding the Allied victory.

Winning World War II was a national effort the required everyone to work together towards a common goal…Victory! Nearly half of all American males between the ages of 18 and 45 served in the Army, Air Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, or US Marines during the war, and more than 350,000 women served in the Women’s Naval Reserve (WAVES) or Army Auxiliary Corps (WACs.) These brave men and women battled the enemy on the earth, at sea, and in the air. Of the more than sixteen million Americans who served, approximately 671,000 were injured in the line of duty and more than 470,000 were reported killed or missing in action.

The war was not won by those in uniform alone.  Americans who remained at home played a crucial role in the fight as well. Factory workers produced the weapons, ammunition, uniforms, military hardware, and medical supplies used by the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who were fighting overseas; farmers and ranchers provided the food that fed the troops, local organizations collected scrap metal, rubber, copper, and other raw materials to help the war effort; citizens bought war bonds; and families rationed their consumption of many goods and services to ensure their sons and daughters in uniform were properly supplied. Without the help and support of men and women back in the States, the outcome of the war could have been much different.

Florida during the War

The state of Florida endured its own challenges during the onset of World War II.  The state was still recovering from The Great Depression.  Florida was not an industrial state so it could not help in the war effort in the way manufacturing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio could.  Florida relied heavily on the tourism industry.  In 1942 the federal government halted automobile manufacturing for civilians and gas rationing was instituted.  A 35-mph speed limit limited the ability to travel extensively for vacations.  This had the potential to affect Florida’s tourism industry in a negative way.

Florida Governor Spessard Holland and the Chamber of Commerce met with President Roosevelt to reach an agreement The federal government would lease 500 resort hotels for use as barracks, hospitals, and convalescent homes for the military.  This agreement boosted Florida’s economy as well as providing a much-needed service for the military.

Florida’s most important contribution to the war effort was its training bases.  The state’s skies were ideal for training fighter pilots due to the excellent flying weather and open and flat terrain.  Many service men and women who trained in the state wanted to return in peacetime.  An influx of these veterans and their families relocated to Florida after WWII.

The Coast Guard Years at Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

A year before the war began, the Coast Guard opened a new station in Ponce Inlet across from the lighthouse. At the time, the Coast Guard was beginning to take over the U.S. Lighthouse Service operations. Edward Meyer, the principal keeper of the lighthouse at the time, decided to enlist in the Coast Guard to retain his position.

Edward Meyer

Around the same time, radio beacons were being supplied to light stations across the country to serve as additional navigational aid. The first assistant keeper dwelling at Ponce Inlet light station is thought to be the original location in which the radio equipment was installed. Ponce Inlet’s radio officially began operation in August of 1940.

Radio Beacon at Ponce Inlet

When the Pearl Harbor attack occurred in 1941, the light station and the town of Ponce Inlet quickly went into heightened awareness. Civilian guards were placed at bridges from the mainland to check every car passing through and no unauthorized persons were allowed on the beach. The lighthouse keepers and other Coast Guard personnel stood 24-hour watch for enemy activity. Keepers and their families were relocated to homes off the station property and the principal keeper dwelling was converted into barracks to accommodate in the increase in watchmen. The watches were divided by beach patrol, beach tower watch and lighthouse lookout.

Dimming the Lighthouse

As German U-boat activity increased along the Florida coast, a blackout was ordered to protect American ships. However, Ponce Inlet Lighthouse was just to stay dimmed for its light was too important for navigational purposes.

End of War Celebration

Interestingly enough, the Coast Guard logbooks for the war-ending year of 1945 are missing still to this day. It is unknown how the end of the war was celebrated at the Ponce Inlet light station, therefore we can only imagine!

Spirit of ’45 Day

The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum cordially invites you to join in its annual Spirit-of-45 celebration on August 15, 2021. Tour the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse & Museum and learn more about Florida’s role in World War II as you participate in family-oriented activities and workshops designed to commemorate and celebrate the Spirit-of-45. All special activities are provided free of charge with regular admission from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM. 

“August 14, 2021, Is National Spirit of '45 Day.” Spiritof45.Org , 19 July 2021, 2:00PM,

Keuchel, Edward F. Florida- Enterprise Under the Sun an Illustrated History . Windsor Publications, 1990.

Marshall,V “The Home Front: The National WWII Museum: New Orleans.” The National WWII Museum | New Orleans , The National World War II Museum, 11 July 2018,

“National Spirit of '45 Day- Second Sunday in August.” , 19 July 2021, 11:00AM, .

“The Coast Guard Years.” A Beacon for Mosquito: The Story of Ponce Inlet Lighthouse , by Ellen J Henry, Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, 2014, pp. 53–58.

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Exploring Haunted Daytona Beach

Oct. 20, 2020

Exploring Haunted Daytona Beach 

Daytona Beach, Florida usually brings to mind sunny days on sandy white beaches, turquoise waters and palm trees. It’s known for its racetrack, where the famous Daytona 500 is held each year and, of course, for being the go-to spring break destination for college students from across the country every spring. But rarely does it conjure scenes of ghostly apparitions. 

As unlikely a place for hauntings as it may seem, Daytona Beach actually has quite a few haunted locations to explore. We did a little research and found some locations that fans of the supernatural can enjoy exploring. Are they really haunted? Some say they’re just stories while others swear they are true. We say…why not do a little investigating of your own? 

Lilian Place Heritage Center

Built by one of Daytona Beach’s first settlers, Laurence Thompson in 1884, this stunning, Italianate High Victorian house is the oldest house on Daytona’s Beachside. There’s nothing that sets the mood for hauntings more than a good Victorian, right? This house has what was called a “Widow’s Walk,” a feature typical in New England design that was meant for the wives of whalers to watch for their husbands returning from the sea. 

A mysterious spirit is believed to haunt Lilian place Heritage Center – a ghost known as Lucille. Legend has it that she has been haunting the place for over 100 years now, with visitors over the years having reported sightings and sounds of  a woman dressed in white, children laughing and a male apparition believed to be Stephen Crane. Stephen Crane was a famous author whose boat sank off the shore of Daytona Beach in the late 1800’s while he was aboard. Crane was brought to shore, to the Lilian Place Heritage Center to recuperate. 

The Daytona Playhouse

At the center of town you’ll find the famous Daytona Playhouse. While many go to see the plays and theatrical performances, this venue also attracts lovers of the supernatural. A local paranormal research group conducted a study of this location. During this study, unexplained sounds were recorded on audio tape, unidentified figures were seen in a director’s booth that was supposed to be empty and strange orbs appeared in photos of the theater. Observers also reported sudden temperature changes and chilling sensations. 

FYI: This location is temporarily closed. Keep checking back with them to stay updated! 

Ponce de Leon Lighthouse 

One of Daytona Beach’s most famous haunted places is the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse. It attracts ghost hunters and curious visitors all year round. This lighthouse is, as urban legend has it, haunted from spirits from the 20th century. The story is that the lighthouse keeper, Joseph Davis suffered a heart attack and died as he was making his way up the lighthouse stairs. The story goes that he was carrying a jug of kerosene at the time and to this day, the lighthouse still has a distinct smell of kerosene…visitors have also reported hearing mysterious footsteps there. Is it Joseph Davis, still carrying out his lighthouse keeper duties even in the afterlife? Find out for yourself. 

Pinewood Cemetery 

Known as the oldest cemetery in Daytona Beach, Pinewood Cemetery is rumored to be haunted by the spirit of a mysterious woman and a headless ghost who many believe is Adler Rawlings, one of the many buried there. 

Non-Haunted, Family-Friendly Halloween Fun

For a family friendly, not so spooky Halloween celebration, we invite you to register for our Tomoka Halloween Family Fest on Saturday, October 24th at Tomoka Town Center! This is a FREE Halloween event in Daytona Beach . There will be games, Halloween decorations, music, candy and chances to win prizes, all while observing safe social distancing measures. 

Click here for more information and to register:


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Ponce de leon lighthouse station description, page actions.

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Ponce de Leon Lighthouse Station

A remarkably complete station, the Ponce de Leon Light Station at Ponce Inlet, Florida consists of a 176-foot tall brick lighthouse tower, a principal keeper's dwelling, two assistant keepers' dwellings, oil house, pump house, and three woodshed/privy structures. The principal buildings are arranged in a courtyard, connected by brick pathways, and surrounded by white picket fence.

Constructed in 1887, the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Station was fully restored and opened for public tours in 1982. The original lighthouse keeper's dwellings were restored to the 1890 period and are now used for a museum and welcome center. The grounds and outbuildings have been restored to reflect the period and demonstrate the lightkeeper's daily job duties.

Ponce de Leon Lighthouse currently serves as a Private Aid to Navigation, operated by the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association .

Article Source: 1986 Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station National Historic Landmark Registration Form (PDF 25pp 288KB)

Existing Structures

Light Tower

Aerial view of Ponce de Leon Lighthouse Station

The Ponce de Leon Inlet light tower measures approximately 176 feet from ground level to the pinnacle. The height of the tower from the bottom of the foundation below ground level to the pinnacle of the lantern roof ventilator is 188 feet, 6Vi inches. The foundation consists of a 45-foot diameter, 12-foot-deep, hexagonal brick foundation with a round-shaped concrete apron extending from the brick edge outward. Each side of the hexagonal brick foundation is 176 inches wide. The concrete apron (including the brick foundation) extends outward 120 inches from the tower in a circular pattern except around the stairway to the entrance door where the concrete apron extends further to each side in a rectangular pattern. [1]

The brick tower consists of the frustum of a cone, 32 feet wide at the base tapering to 13 feet 6 inches at the top. The brick walls are 8 feet thick at the base and 2 feet thick at the top. The focal plane of the light is 168 feet above sea level. The brick work was considered so fine that the tower was "red-washed" instead of painted so as not to diminish the beauty of the architecture. A granite cornice marks the base of the service room level.

The tower is fenestrated by ten windows and two doors (the entrance door and watch room gallery access door). The window openings have granite sills and lintels. There are four east facing windows directly over the tower entrance door including the window at the service room level and four windows facing the west side including the window at the service room. There are two additional windows at the service room level, one facing north and one south. Each window opening (other than at the service room level) has a brick and granite pedimented hood with granite keystone. The windows are four-over-four double hung wood sash; the top sash is stationary and semi-rounded on top to conform to the window opening. The window openings have cast iron surrounds in which the wooden window jams are set. Above the granite sill of the windows slanting metal covers are attached as a means of keeping pigeons from nesting on the sills. Most of the original brass window pulleys are still set in these jams but no longer used.

There are nine granite stairs plus a short landing leading from the walkway to the tower entrance. Four of these entrance stairs are cracked. Historic photographs suggest this may have taken place during the August 31, 1886, earthquake. There are two sets of double entry doors; the outer set is made of pine and are not original, the inner set is made of oak and appear to be original. Both sets of doors are set in cast iron frames. The inner doors are three-panel doors with the top two panels made of glass. Flanking the entrance is a decorative surround made of granite full pilasters, square in section. A granite course or water table surrounds the entire base of the tower. At the base of the service room level corbeled brick courses overlaid by a granite course form the base for eight brick pilasters which surround four windows. These support a corbel which in turn supports the watch room gallery deck. There are two 1-inch-wide cracks along the west side of the tower running from the upper windows to the ground. These may also have been caused by the August 31, 1886, earthquake.

Ponce de Leon Inlet Spiral Staircase

The tower consists of an inner and outer brick wall connected by interstitial brick walls, similar to the spokes of a wheel. While the outer wall tapers, the inner wall retains a constant 12-foot diameter. The original brass hardware for the inner doors are intact. The floor of the ground level is made of white and black marble squares laid in a checkered pattern. The stairway to the lantern ascends clockwise and is made of cast iron with the hand rail made of wrought iron. The stairs are attached to the inner tower brick wall by brackets set in the brick wall. The rail is attached to the outer end of the stair treads; there is no rail along the tower wall. The steps are painted gray and the rails black. The walls of the tower are painted white except for the lower five feet along the stairs which are painted gray to hide hand prints from visitors climbing the steps. All stair and rail elements appear to be original. There are 194 steps to the watch room with nine semi-circular landings (21 steps between landings, except the upper landing which has 17 steps). The floor of each landing is cast iron. Each landing is supported below by four courses of corbeled brick and four cast iron brackets set in the inner brick tower wall. There are another 10 iron steps from the watch room to the lantern room. Each window is set back in an alcove from the central stairwell. The alcoves are made of brick with a three course semi-arch over the top and a white marble floor fronted with a cast-iron ledge on the outer edge to match the curvature of the brick tower wall. The alcoves have chain link fence guards stretched across the window openings for safety reasons (these are scheduled to be removed during the next renovation). At the base of the tower is a round circular rail or "well curb" with a radius of 1 foot, 6 inches, which surrounds the weight well.

The service room is made of brick and has four windows. The granite window sills are unpainted on the interior. The cast iron landing deck covers about two thirds of the circumference of the room. The deck is supported below by four brick courses, three of which are corbeled. A wooden cabinet is located on the deck. It is built to fit snugly against the inner wall of the tower and is painted green.

The watch room consists of interior brick walls against an exterior cast iron wall with a cast-iron inner deck and a cast-iron outer deck surrounded by an iron triple-rail gallery. The inner deck completely covers the landing except for sufficient space to climb up and down the 9-step access ladder. A second cabinet nearly identical to the service room cabinet is located at this level. It is also painted green. The upper gallery rail serves as a hand rail; balusters run only between the bottom and middle rail. The watch room door to the gallery deck is made of iron with three hinges. The door is original as is both of two interior toggle closures and the door knob mechanism. A light pane has been added to the originally solid door. The present deck and rail were modified in 1982 and do not conform to the original design. The gallery is supported below by original cast-iron brackets. In the 1982 modification, the gallery deck was also supported by new, non-original brackets extending out from the lantern gallery above.

The lantern deck is made of cast iron and is surrounded by an iron balustraded gallery deck with a single rail. The inner cast iron deck has glass light inserts to provide light below into the watch room area. All the lights are complete. The lantern is 16-sided and is made of brass, glass, and iron. Each side has three panes one over the top of the other. Every other side has a ventilator located just below the lower pane. The roof has a high cone-shape, is made of copper, and surmounted by a copper ventilator ball with lightning pinnacle topped with platinum point. The dome ceiling is covered with zinc sheeting. The ventilator hood is extant and appears to be in good condition. There is no door from the lantern room to the lantern gallery deck; access is by iron ladder from below on the watch room gallery. Interior curtains once hung on hooks to protect the light lens during the day.

Ponce Lighthouse 1st Order Fresnel Lens

Ordered by the United States government after the Civil War, the first-order lens which was installed in the Ponce de Leon (Mosquito) Inlet Lighthouse in 1887, was constructed in 1867 by the firm of Barbier and Fenestre in Paris, France, and was stored in their warehouse until it was shipped to Mosquito (Ponce de Leon) Inlet 20 years later. Costing originally about $5,000 in 1867, the total cost for the lens, including the storage and shipping costs, was considerably more by the time it was installed. The lens without its cast-iron pedestal weighed about 2,000 pounds. With a diameter of 71% inches, the beehive-shaped, classical Fresnel lens was a stationary, fixed-light lens consisting of 15 glass prism panels, three silvered, concave brass reflector panels, and brass framing which form a hollow cylinder 8% feet high. The 15 glass prism panels facing the ocean consisted of lower, central, and upper panels, forming five glass sections. Each of these five sections covers 45° for a total of 225°. The five lower glass prism panels contained eight thick triangular catadioptric prisms each. The five central prism panels contain a wide refractive belt prism with eight narrow triangular dioptric prisms above and eight below the belt. The five upper glass prism panels contain 18 thick triangular glass prisms. Opposing the five central prism panels, on the landward side of the lens, were three silvered, concave brass reflective panels, a rare feature for lenses of this period, covering a total of 135°. These served to reflect the light from the light source towards the ocean-facing glass prisms. The lens was mounted on a six-foot tall cast-iron columnar pedestal, and as the lens was a fixed, steady light character, no rotation mechanism was utilized.

The lens was illuminated originally by a first-order hydraulic kerosene lamp with five concentric wicks, creating a light of 15,000 candlepower which could be seen 20 nautical miles out to sea. The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse was one of the first in the United States to be designed specifically for the use of the new "mineral oil" (kerosene) as an illuminant. In 1909, an incandescent oil-vapor (IOV) kerosene lamp was installed. In 1933, the tower was electrified and the first-order, fixed lens was removed in favor of a third order revolving (flashing) Fresnel lens from the discontinued Sapelo Island (Georgia) Lighthouse. The pedestal for the third-order lens was modified and mounted on top of the original first-order pedestal, both of which remain in the tower, today. With a 500-watt, frosted lamp inside, the third-order revolving lens produced 220,000 candlepower in its flash stage, with a range similar to that of the original firstorder lens. It was rotated by a 1/4 horsepower electric motor on large ball bearings. Although upgraded to a 1,000-watt lamp in 1967, the third-order lens remained operational in the tower until March, 1970, when the tower was decommissioned in favor of a new light mounted on a 50-foot, steel skeletal tower across the inlet on the Coast Guard Station. The third-order lens was removed for safe-keeping from the tower in 1971 and sent to the Coast Guard Academy Museum in New London, Connecticut. Ironically, the original first-order lens was not far away, having been stored in pieces in a warehouse at Mystic Seaport since 1946. In 1973, through the services of Rear Admiral E. L. Perry, Senator Gurney, and Representative Chappell, the third order lens was returned to the lighthouse for display in the developing museum. On December 15, 1982, because of construction of a new high-rise beach condominium which obscured the light at the Coast Guard station, the Coast Guard reactivated the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and placed a modern optic in the lantern. In March 1996, the FA 250 AC Rotating Beacon then in place in the tower was destroyed by lightning, and on March 31, 1996, the present optic, a Vega VBR-25 Marine Rotating Beacon, S/N 25057, made in New Zealand, was installed. In July 1997, the Coast Guard transferred custody of the original first-order lens from Mystic Seaport to the lighthouse so that this unique, original lens could be fully restored and displayed in the museum. [2]

In 1987, the interior of the tower was sandblasted and chemically cleaned, and painted white. Chain link fence guards were placed on the interior of all the tower windows. [3] In 1990, a new roof was placed on the generator building and copper gutters put on the historic structures. [4] In 1993, handicap ramps were built for access to the exhibit areas in the dwellings. [5] New sealant was placed around the lantern glazing in 1994. [6] Lightning destroyed the FA251-AC rotating light in 1996. It was replaced by a VBR-25 Marine Rotating Beacon. [7]

Ponce Lighthouse Principle Keepers House

Principal Keeper's Dwelling

This 1887 dwelling is made of brick, square-shaped, with double-hipped, moderately steep pitched, composition shingle, roof. A central brick chimney protrudes from the roof peak of the structure. Just below the chimney is a roof vent or stepped (slightly raised or hipped) roof for ventilation purposes. Windows are six-over-six double-hung wood sash. Fenestration of the west side consists of two doors next to each other with a window on each outer side of the doors plus a third window on the kitchen wing; the south side has one window on the main section and no opening on the kitchen wing; the east side has three windows on the main section and three windows on the kitchen wing plus a door made into the former breezeway section; and the north side has one window in the brick section and three windows in the wood enclosed section of the porch. A brick gable ended kitchen wing with brick chimney on the south end is attached off the southeast corner of the structure. The kitchen wing was originally separated from the main dwelling section by a short breezeway, but this opening was infilled in the late 1970s with wood and glass to provide more exhibit space. Under the kitchen wing portion of the structure is located a full cellar used for storage of supplies. A porch runs along two thirds of the south and part of the west side of the dwelling facing the center of the light station. The north side of the porch was enclosed by wood siding during 1921 and converted to indoor bathrooms, storage area, and screened porch. This enclosure is still intact. Much of the door hardware and all the floors appear to be original except the floor in the kitchen wing which may overlay the original floor. The chimneys are decorated with corbeled brick courses which give the top of the chimneys a stepped appearance. The windows have green shutters. The two doors on the west face are four-panel wooden doors with three light panels over the top of each. A 5,000-gallon capacity brick cistern is located in the basement below the kitchen and accessed from an interior hatched entry through the floor between the pantries and entrance to the kitchen. The building is used for museum display purposes today.

Ponce Lighthouse Assistant Keeper's Home

First Assistant Keeper's Dwelling

This 1887 brick dwelling is rectangular-shaped with gable ends and a moderately steep pitched, composition shingle roof. A chimney is located at each east and west gabled end of the structure. Both the first and second assistant keepers' dwellings have wooden struts or diagonal brackets in the gable ends to support the roof overhang; one in the center of the gable peak and one each where the side wall meets the roof line. Windows are six-over-six double-hung wood sash. Fenestration consists of two doors and a window in between on the north side; two windows on the lower level and two smaller louvered openings in the upper gable ends; a door and window on the main section of the south side and two windows on the lower level and two smaller louvered openings in the upper gable end of the kitchen wing; and three windows on the lower level and two in the upper level of the gable end of the east side. A gable ended kitchen wing with brick chimney on the south end is attached to the southeast corner of the structure. A railed porch runs along the north side of the dwelling facing the center of the light station. The hand rail at the porch entry is not original milling. The porch floor is early though not original. Part of the rear or south porch was enclosed with wood siding during 1921 and made into indoor bathrooms, storage area, and screened porch. This enclosure was removed in the 1990s; a paint ghost of this earlier modification is still present on the brick wall of this formerly enclosed section. Much of the door hardware and all the floors appear to be original. A 3200-galloncapacity cistern is located to the rear of the structure. The dwelling has been restored and furnished to the 1890 period containing some original furnishings once used in the dwelling.

Ponce Lighthouse Second Keepers House

Second Assistant Keeper's Dwelling

This 1887 brick dwelling is rectangular-shaped with gable ends and moderately steep pitched, composition shingle roof. A chimney is located at each east and west gabled end of the structure. Windows are six-over-six double-hung wood sash. The fenestration for the second assistant keeper's dwelling is the mirror image of the first assistant keeper's dwelling. A gableended kitchen wing with brick chimney on the north end is attached to the northeast corner of the house. A railed porch runs along the south side of the dwelling facing the center of the light station. Part of the rear porch was enclosed during the 1920s renovation and made into indoor bathrooms, storage area, and screened porch. Much of the door hardware and all the floors appear to be original. The walls in the kitchen have been covered with modern wood paneling and plaster surfaces in the dwelling coated with textured paint. This structure is used for museum display purposes today. Both the first and second assistant keepers' dwellings are essentially identical in construction. This structure was once used as the town hall. An original wall partition was removed presumably at this time.

All three dwellings are built with 12-inch brick. They have granite window sills, white painted trim, gray porch decks, white rails, dark green shutters, and dark green under the roof overhangs. The shutters are functional replicas of the original wood shutters. There are five wooden steps from ground level to the dwelling porches. Wheel chair ramps have been added to the dwellings. All the wood lattice below the porches are painted green and are replacements. The wood flooring on some of the porches has been replaced, but does match the original milling. A below grade brick cistern with arched roof is located at one end of each assistant keeper's dwelling and a brick cistern is located in the basement under the kitchen wing of the principal keeper's dwelling. All the structures have half round copper gutters and downspouts which originally connected to these cisterns. All three dwellings had bathroom additions made in 1921 by framing part of the porches and installing plumbing.

The 1887 oil house is made of brick with a hipped roof. Two of the sides of the structure have a set of four cross shaped ventilation holes formed into the brick walls. The last upper three brick courses are corbeled out to meet the roof overhang. A square copper ventilator is located at the peak of the roof. A heavy wooden door is located on the east face. This door was originally copper sheeted for fire protection. The door sill and lentil as well as a step into the oil house is made of granite. There are two granite blocks inserted into the door frame of the brick where the door gudgeons are attached. The floor is concrete. Two large iron storage tanks located in the oil house date from 1927. [8] The oil house suffered a fire in the 1970s which destroyed the roof and about half of the original interior wall of the building; it was restored in 1989. New granite sills, headers, roof trusses, new copper roof, new door, and new cradles for the oil tanks were installed. Total restoration cost was over $30,000. The original roof was copper.

Wood Sheds/Privies

Three brick wood sheds with attached privies were constructed about 1887 with cypress shingle roofs. Each wood shed has an access door on the side facing the center of the station with the privy door on the opposite side facing away from the station. A window is located in the gable end opposite the end where the privy is attached. There is no window on the side of the wood shed opposite the side with a door. The gable end of each privy has a small single wooden sash two pane window. Lintels over the original openings were constructed of flat brick arches. The roofs are currently composition shingle. In 1933 the woodshed behind the first assistant keeper's dwelling was turned into a generator building and a radio room added to the north side in 1943. This newer section is clearly visible as the brick is inconsistent with that of the earlier structure. A lean-to is attached to the east side of the radio room. The door to the wood shed associated with the second assistant keeper's dwelling is probably not original. [9]

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Museum 2019

Lens Exhibition Building

A 31 by 33 foot in plan brick building was constructed in 1994-95 to house the first-order lens from Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. The roof line is similar to that of the principal keeper's dwelling.

Entrance/Offices/Gift Shop Building

In 1992 a brick 2.5 story structure was built from the design of the original 1884 multi residence. This 2-story plan, intended for the station keepers, was never built because of complaints at other light stations that this design resulted in a lack of privacy for the families. The present building was built a third larger than the original plan. [10]

Previously Existing Structures

First Light Tower

The first light tower was built on the south side of Mosquito Inlet in 1834-35. It was built of "hard-brick," 45 feet tall, round, 22 feet in diameter at the base, tapering to 10.5 feet at the top. The walls were 3 feet, 6 inches thick at the base and tapering to 2 feet thick at the top. The lantern was made of iron and surrounded by a balustraded gallery with two railings. The light consisted of 11 lamps with metal reflectors designed and patented by Lewis, modified versions of the English Argand lamp. The lamps were hung on a chandelier. [11] This tower and the original keeper's dwelling have since eroded into the inlet as the inlet moved south.

"Water Lilly" boat at Ponce Lighthouse Wharf 1925

Keeper's Dwelling

The first original keeper's dwelling was a 1-story, 20 by 34 foot in plan structure.

Boat Houses

A open-sided, palm-thatched frame boat house was located at the landing area south of the light station at least by 1902. [12] A more substantial frame boat house was built to replace the older boat house by at least 1907. By 1914 two boat houses existed; one on the dock and one on the shore. The boat house on the shore became known as the "Buoy House" by 1917. It was replaced by a new buoy house in 1934. It was discontinued in 1946 and moved by raft to a fish camp owned by the former Principal Keeper Edward L. Meyer. [12]

During construction of the lighthouse a landing platform was constructed at the site in 1884-85. A wharf was built at the landing in 1907. The wharf was completely rebuilt in 1929. In 1942 repairs were made to the "dock." The wharf eventually deteriorated and washed away.

Ponce Inlet Kitchen and Quarters 1885

Keepers Garage

A garage made of corrugated metal was built prior to 1921 near where the ticket building sits today. This structure was torn down in 1972.

Water Mill and Tank

An 8-foot Samson Windmill was built in 1907 and located just south of and immediately behind where the current pumphouse now stands. The windmill was disassembled about 1914. The water tower and tower existed from 1907 to about 1952.

Temporary Structures

In 1884, during construction of the present brick tower, temporary workman's quarters, office, kitchen, carpentry and blacksmith shops, storehouses and a mule drawn tramway were built.

Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station contains all of the original structures which were located within the enclosed fenced compound including all three of its 1887 keeper's dwellings and woodshed/privies. The pump house was added in 1915. Outside the central compound the oil house remains from the original construction.

All cedar shingle roofs have been replaced with non-compatible composition shingle on the dwellings. The watch room gallery deck and rail was replaced by a design not in keeping with the original design (this will be corrected with the next tower renovation scheduled within the next two years). The breezeway from the kitchen wing to the principal keeper's dwelling was infilled with wood and glass and the 1920s enclosure of the porch is still present. The original first-order lens was removed by the U.S. Lighthouse Service, but was returned in 1997 and is currently under restoration for display in the lens house, not in the tower. Much of the oil house was restored after 1970 vandalism damage.

Other than the previous notations, all of the contributing structures and fabric are original. Rare original fabric include door hardware (including the rare watch room gallery door hardware and inner entrance door hardware), original interior entrance door to tower, a rare and complete set of lantern inner deck glass lights, and the wooden floors of the dwellings.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse History Tour

Lighthouses of the Southeast - Ponce de Leon Lighthouse

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Drone 2019

Please select a Ponce de Leon Lighthouse Station video to view.

Ponce inlet 001.jpg

  • Ponce de Leon Lighthouse Station
  • Mosquito Lagoon
  • Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve
  • Ponce Inlet Light Station and Museum
  • United States Lighthouse Society Archives
  • Article Source: Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station National Historic Landmark Registration (PDF 25pp 288KB)
  • ↑ The construction plans for Ponce De Leon (Mosquito) Inlet complete with all measurements exist at the National Archives; copies are available in the inventory files at the National Maritime Initiative, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.
  • ↑ Thomas W. Taylor, "Building the Ponce DeLeon Inlet Lighthouse," The Keeper's Log, volume XI, number 1 (Fall 1994), pp. 4-5; T. W. Taylor, "Cape Canaveral First Order Fresnel Lens," Newsletter, Ponce DeLeon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc., volume XVII, number 3 (October, 1993), p. 1; T. W. Taylor, "The First Order Lens of the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Newsletter, Ponce DeLeon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc., volume XIX, number 4 (October, 1995), p. 4; and T. W. Taylor, "The Boat Houses at the Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse," Newsletter, Ponce DeLeon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc., volume XXI, number 3 (July, 1997), pp. 4 and 5; personal communication from Ann Caneer, driector, Ponce DeLeon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, April 1998.
  • ↑ Newsletter, Ponce DeLeon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc., volume X, number 1 (January, 1987), p. 1.
  • ↑ Newsletter, Ponce DeLeon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc., volume XIII, number 1 (April,1990), p. 2.
  • ↑ Newsletter, Ponce DeLeon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc., volume XVII, number 3 (July,1993), p. 2.
  • ↑ Newsletter, Ponce DeLeon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc., volume XVIII, number 2 (April, 1994), p. 3.
  • ↑ W. T. Taylor, "Tower Light Destroyed by Lightning," Newsletter, Ponce DeLeon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc., volume XX, number 2 (April, 1996), p. 4.
  • ↑ Engineer Construction Drawing File number 1503, dated 1921 indicates the oil house had a tin roof while Thomas W. Taylor, The Beacon of Mosquito Inlet: A History of the Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse (privately printed by Taylor, Allandale, Florida, 1993), p. 39 states the roof destroyed in 1927 was copper.
  • ↑ "Condition Assessment Report Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station, Kenneth Smith Architects, Inc. and Structural Engineers Group, draft May 6, 1997, p. 7.
  • ↑ "The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Museum," Newsletter, Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc. (April 1997), p. 4.
  • ↑ Diane D. Greer, "Ponce de Leon Lighthouse," National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form (Division of Archives, History & Record Management, Tallahassee, Florida, 1971), n. p. states the first lighthouse was wooden but there is no reference given; this is believed to be incorrect; see for example Alice Strickland, "Future of Historic Inlet Honoring Ponce de Leon Still Bright, Assured," Florida Conservation News (June 1979), p. 11.
  • ↑ 12.0 12.1 Thomas Taylor, "The Boat Houses at the Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse," Newsletter, Ponce DeLeon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc., volume XXI, number 3 (July, 1997), pp. 4 and 5.

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