The St. Marks Lighthouse
A National Historic Landmark
The St. Marks Lighthouse has been a navigational beacon for over a century and a half, guiding recreational, military, and merchant vessels from around the world to the mouth of the St. Marks River.
The structure consists of the light keeper's house attached to the 88 - foot tower, both resting on a 12- foot thick limestone base. According to local legend, the limestone blocks are from the ruins of old Fort San Marcos de Apalachee.
Eighty-five steps spiral up the brick tower to the lantern room; the first seventy-two are wood and the last thirteen are iron. The tower walls are four feet thick at the base, tapering to 18 inches at the top. From 1867 until 2014 the lantern room contained a fourth order Fresnel lens.
Over the years, oil, kerosene, and electricity have powered the lamp which can be seen in the range of 12 - 14 miles, depending on light conditions. The St. Marks tower has always been white with a black lantern top. The keeper's house has four- foot thick brick walls with twelve windows and two chimneys. Two exterior doors open onto the long covered porch.
banner image: Lou Kellenberger