Interesting Facts

The Lighthouse Itself

  • Height: 82 feet to focal plane; 88 feet total height

  • There are 85 steps to the top which are made out of cypress

  • DayMark: Whitewashed conical brick tower with a black lantern

  • Original Lens: Fifteen Lewis-Argand lamps with fourteen-inch reflectors; Winslow Lewis (1831)

  • Current Lens: Fourth-order fixed Fresnel lens; Henry-Lepaute (1867). Focal Plane: 82 feet

  • Construction (first tower): Architect Winslow Lewis. Builder: Benjamin Beal and Jairus Thayer

  • Construction (second and third towers): Calvin Knowlton. Conical brick tower constructed of brick and iron

  • Attached keeper’s dwelling was built in 1871

  • Operated by: United States Coast Guard & St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

  • U.S.C.G. District: 8

  • ARLHS No.: USA-801

  • Coordinates: 30 04 26 N, 84 10 47 W

  • Listed on the National Register

People and Events

  • The present tower is the third tower and was built in 1842

  • The Fresnel lens was removed and hidden from Union troops during the Civil War

  • The light was re-lit after the Civil War in 1867

  • Lighthouse Road was built in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

  • There were 21 lighthouse keepers at St. Marks - 2 were female

  • J.Y. Gresham was the longest serving keeper - 1918-1949 - 31 years

  • over 250,000 people visit the lighthouse every year

  • The St. Marks Lighthouse is the 2nd oldest lighthouse in Florida (the oldest is on Amelia Island)

banner image: Lou Kellenberger