As I mentioned yesterday, a brief meeting in St. Augustine, bracketed by flights in and out of Daytona Beach, FL left me with little time for sightseeing. I did manage to collect a bunch of photos that I will share at some point, but the highlight of my travel was touring the lighthouse in St. Augustine. I love lighthouses and this one is beautiful, well preserved and maintained, and includes a Light Keeper’s House and museum. It just doesn’t get any better.
Since I have way too many photos to share in any one blog post, I culled out the photos with doors in them to share in Thursday Doors.
Thursday Doors is a weekly gathering of the fleet of door aficionados from all over the world. Light Keeper, Norm Frampton lights the lamp Thursday morning and keeps it burning until noon Saturday. If you have a door to share, or just want to see some amazing doors, set sail for the official Thursday Doors lighthouse in Montreal. Once that’s in sight, look at Norm’s doors, then look for the blue frog. Click that tadpole to be guided safely into the harbor.
I’m going to quote some of the information from the Lighthouse history page. They’ve done a better job researching and writing than I could. I urge you to visit the page, as their history is more complete and I would absolutely urge you to visit the lighthouse if you’re ever in the area. St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States. It offers a rich collection of historic buildings, and a remarkable fort – you might need more than one day. According to the website:
“A Spanish watchtower, built in the late 1500’s was the predecessor of the present St. Augustine Lighthouse. St. Augustine is the site of the oldest, permanent aid to navigation in North America.”
The lighthouse is built with Alabama brick and, as you might have seen yesterday, iron stairs, railings and landings that were made in Philadelphia. The light is topped with a hand-blown, nine-foot-tall, Fresnel lens, that was constructed in Paris, France, and remains one of only a few such operating lenses in the United States.
“The St. Augustine Lighthouse rises 165 feet above sea level and contains 219 steps that are climbed by visitors. At the top, the original, first order Fresnel lens still serves the beacon, but today is lit by a 1000 watt bulb, and maintained by the museum and volunteers. The St. Augustine lens consists of 370 hand-cut glass prisms arranged in a beehive shape towering twelve feet tall and six feet in diameter… The Lighthouse is St. Augustine’s oldest surviving brick structure, and today the site is restored to colors and materials used in the year 1888.”
“In 1876, a brick light keeper’s house was added to the property, a triplex that held two families and a young, single, 2nd assistant keeper. Light keepers’ and their assistants lived and worked at the Light Station until the tower was automated in 1955.”
Standing guard over a coastline that is regularly subjected to high winds and punishing rain, the lighthouse had to be strong. That required strong doors and windows. As I stopped to
catch my breath let others pass on my way up, I enjoyed a stiff cool breeze entering those windows. It occurred to me that, it wasn’t all that windy a day. But, the higher I climbed, the more the wind made its presence known.
The light keepers home was a wonderful tour in and of itself. I will put together a post about that later, but I’m including the door photos here. I’ll stop yammering now, and offer the gallery of photos. Click on any one to begin a slide show. I have added captions to further explain some of the cool things that I saw on the tour.