The St. George Lighthouse Association has just embarked on the largest restoration project since its original reconstruction at the center of St. George Island in 2008. After the fall of the tower in 2005 on what is now Little St. George Island, a herculean effort was undertaken by our community to restore the lighthouse to its new place of prominence in the center of the Island. Thousands of hours of planning, research, fundraising, cleaning of bricks, and countless other tasks by members of the community restored the Cape St. George Lighthouse to its proper condition and since that time, it has welcomed guests to the Island every day, a shining beacon of what our community can do when asked.
The years after reconstruction have taken their toll on our tower. The salt air, storms, and elements have damaged our lantern room with extensive rust and cracked glass. After exhaustive research, speaking with experts, and a thorough bidding process, Razorback, LLC out of Tarpon Springs, Florida was selected to make the repairs. Razorback, LLC has years of expertise in restoration of lighthouses and other historic structures. The scope of work includes removing all the glass and sandblasting and painting the metal birdcage. After the sandblasting and painting is completed all new glass will be installed in the lantern room. The masonry tower will also be cleaned and painted. The work began on January 3rd and will ensure that our lighthouse is sound, safe, and better protected from the elements for years to come.
This work is expensive, but necessary. The total cost of the repairs is nearly $100,000. While we received a grant from the Florida Lighthouse Association (FLA) in the amount of $24,000 to help offset some of the costs, and we have the potential to receive an additional $10,000 from FLA to further offset the costs, our nonprofit organization will be self-funding the remainder.
2020 has been a crazy year and with the challenges associated with COVID-19 our organization has suffered significant financial losses from which it will take considerable time to recover – and that is why we need YOU! We need the help of the community that loves the St. George Lighthouse to help ensure that our light is shining bright for generations to come. There are many ways you can help keep the light shining. Please consider a donation to our “Keep the Light Shining” campaign. Each donation level comes with a gift to thank you for your generosity.
COVID-19 POLICIES and VISITOR INFORMATION:
All those age 6 and over wishing to visit the St. George Lighthouse Museum and Gift Shop are REQUIRED to wear a face mask or facial covering. Because our county case numbers continue to increase, and community spread has been recognized by local health officials, we are implementing this policy to help protect the most vulnerable members of our staff and community. Since our reopening in mid-May, we have limited our capacity in the Lighthouse, Museum and Gift Shop, we have asked visitors to sanitize their hands prior to entering the buildings, and we have implemented enhanced cleaning procedures to help keep our visitors and staff safe. We will continue these practices for the foreseeable future. If you cannot comply with these small requests to help to keep our community safe, we ask you to come back and visit when the requirements are lifted. For those of you who forgot to bring your masks with you – Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! - Disposable masks will be available at the front door of the Museum/Gift Shop for a minimum donation of fifty cents each. We also have a limited number of handmade cloth masks available for purchase in our Gift Shop. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Stay safe and love one another. We will get through this!
Amy Hodson – Executive Director, St. George Lighthouse Association
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A Historic Treasure on Florida's Forgotten Coast
On Friday, October 21, 2005, the Cape St. George Light collapsed into the Gulf of Mexico. On Monday, December 1, 2008, the reconstructed lighthouse was opened to the public. First built in 1833 and rebuilt in 1848 and 1852 on what is now Little St. George Island, the Light finally succumbed to beach erosion and pounding waves. Working with state and federal government support, the St. George Lighthouse Association spearheaded the effort to salvage the pieces of the Light. Volunteers cleaned the mortar off thousands of the old bricks. The original plans were obtained from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and the lighthouse was reconstructed on St. George Island, using as much of the original materials as possible.
Construction of a replica of the original keeper’s house was begun next to the lighthouse in the fall of 2009. The two story brick building was opened in the summer of 2011 and houses a museum which tells the story of the lighthouse and its keepers and a gift shop that offers visitors the opportunity to take home a memento of their visit to the historic lighthouse
Please browse the accompanying pages to read about the Light’s history and to see photos of the Light through the years. Take a look at our volunteer and membership opportunities, and the calendar of upcoming events. And come visit and climb the 92 stairs to the top of the Light. Your continued support of the Cape St. George Light is important to help maintain our historic lighthouse for future generations!
The Cape St. George Light is located at 2B East Gulf Beach Drive, St. George Island, FL 32328.