Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ponce Inlet in Volusia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

 
 
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse NHL Plaque image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
1. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse NHL Plaque
Inscription.
(NHL Plaque)
Ponce de Leon
Inlet Lighthouse
Has Been Designated A
National
Historic Landmark


This site possesses national significance
in commemorating the history of the
United States of America

1998
National Park Service
United States Department of the Interior


(NRHP Plaque)
Ponce de Leon
Inlet Lighthouse

Has Been Placed On The
National Register
Of Historic Places

By The United States
Department of the Interior
1972

 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 29° 4.841′ N, 80° 55.721′ W. Marker is in Ponce Inlet, Florida, in Volusia County. Marker is on South Peninsula Drive south of Ocean Way Drive, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. The lighthouse tower and museum are located on the beachside peninsula, several miles south of Daytona Beach, in the town of Ponce Inlet. It is on the north side of Ponce de León Inlet, where the Halifax River (Intracoastal Waterway) meets the Atlantic Ocean, and opposite New Smyrna Beach to the south of the inlet. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4931 South Peninsula Drive, Port Orange FL 32127, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse NRHP Plaque image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
2. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse NRHP Plaque
At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bronze Bell (within shouting distance of this marker); Jesse Linzy (within shouting distance of this marker); Hotel Inlet Terrace (approx. half a mile away); Green Mound State Archaeological Site (approx. 2.8 miles away); Site of Sheldon's New Smyrna Hotel (approx. 3.7 miles away); 1768 British Colony of New Smyrna (approx. 3.7 miles away); Anniversary of Shelling by Union Gunboats (approx. 3.7 miles away); To the Past... (approx. 3.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ponce Inlet.
 
More about this marker. The plaques are mounted on the brick posts at the main gate into the Lighthouse Museum compound, facing the parking lot.
 
Regarding Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse. Built in 1887, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in Florida and the second tallest masonry lighthouse in the nation. The lighthouse itself is accompanied by several support structures which now operate as museum and gift shop.

The lighthouse was automated in 1953, but deactivated in 1970. It was reactivated in 1982, after newly constructed high-rise buildings blocked the Coast Guard beacon on the inlet's other side.
 
Also see . . .  History of The Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
3. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
The plaques are mounted on the two brick posts.
. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association's website (Submitted on August 29, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.) 
 
Additional comments.
1.
National Register of Historic Places:
Ponce De Leon Inlet Lightstation *** (added 1972 - Building - #72000355)
Also known as Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse •
4931 S. Peninsula Dr., U.S. Coast Guard Reservation, Ponce de Leon Inlet •
Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering •
Area of Significance: Transportation, Maritime History, Architecture •
Period of Significance: 1875-1899, 1900-1924, 1925-1949 •
    — Submitted August 30, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Notable BuildingsWaterways & Vessels
 
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
4. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
5. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Sign image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
6. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Sign
"Nothing indicates the Liberality, Prosperity, or Intelligence of a Nation more clearly than the Facilities which it Affords for the Safe Approach of the Mariner to its shores."
- Report of the lighthouse Board, 1868
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Gift Shop image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
7. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Gift Shop
Ponce de León Inlet image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
8. Ponce de León Inlet
Ponce de León Inlet north jetty image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
9. Ponce de León Inlet north jetty
The Beach at Lighthouse Point Park image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
10. The Beach at Lighthouse Point Park
The lighthouse is seen towering in the distance.
Ponce de León Inlet image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
11. Ponce de León Inlet
Viewed from the boardwalk at Lighthouse Point Park. Across the inlet is New Smyrna Beach.
Ponce Inlet image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 7, 2011
12. Ponce Inlet
Viewed from the lighthouse.
203 Steps to the Top of Ponce Inlet Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 7, 2011
13. 203 Steps to the Top of Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
203 Steps Back Down From the Top of Ponce Inlet Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 7, 2011
14. 203 Steps Back Down From the Top of Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
Principal Keeper's Dwelling image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 7, 2011
15. Principal Keeper's Dwelling
Viewed from atop of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
Ponce Inlet Fixed First Order Lens image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 7, 2011
16. Ponce Inlet Fixed First Order Lens
When the Mosquito Inlet Light Station (now Ponce Inlet) was first completed in 1887, the beacon was a fixed (non-rotating) First Order Fresnel lens manufactured in France by Barbier and Fenestre. This lens was actually made in 1867 and was kept in storage for nearly 20 years before being sent to the lighthouse here. It was lit by an hydraulic kerosene lamp with five concentric wicks, which created a 15,000 candlepower light that could be seen 20 nautical miles out to sea. The lens has five 45 degree panels that would have illuminated 225 degrees of the horizon. The silvered copper reflective panels at the rear of the lens functioned to increase the light.

In 1909 an incandescent oil vapor (IOV) lamp was installed in the lens. The original kerosene lamp of 1887 was innovative for its time, but by 1909 the new IOV design was making the oil lamp obsolete.

In 1933 the Bureau of Lighthouses decided to change the characteristic of the beacon from fixed and steady to rotating and flashing. The First Order fixed lens was removed and shipped to the Coast Guard's Seventh District Supply Depot in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1946, the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut contacted the Coast Guard about the possibility of obtaining a Fresnel lens. The Coast Guard determined that the First Order lens from Ponce Inlet would be suitable and the lens was shipped to them. The lens passed out of record and thought to be lost.

After many years of searching by the Ponce Inlet staff, the original First Order lens was discovered in storage at the Mystic Seaport Museum. In 1997 the Coast Guard returned the lens to us on long term loan. It has undergone extensive restoration by the Ponce Inlet Lens Restoration Team.
Third Order Fresnel Lens image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 7, 2011
17. Third Order Fresnel Lens
In 1933, the US Lighthouse Serice decided to change the characteristic of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse from fixed and steady to a flashing light. A rotating Third Order Fresnel lens with an electric light source was installed.

When the lighthouse was decommissioned in 1970, this lens was removed and sent to the Coast Guard Academy Museum. In 1973 the lens was returned to Ponce Inlet where it was completely restored. The tower was reactivated in 1980 with a modern marine aerobeacon as the light source.

That beacon was destroyed by lightning in 1996, and a Vega VRB-25 with a rotating Fresnel lens was installed.

On April 30, 2004, the restored Third Order Fresnel lens was returned to service in the tower, and the lighthouse became a private aid to navigation.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 15, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 1,008 times since then and 65 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on August 15, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.   12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. submitted on July 23, 2011, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement