St. George Lighthouse Association

Lighthouse News Line

Archives - October 2008

October 28, 2008

Palms in the Park

Sabal palms are unloaded and ready to be planted by Sam Brown and crew in St. George Lighthouse Park.

More than 30 palms were planted today (October 28) in St. George Lighthouse Park, as part of the park renovation project funded by the DEP grant to refurbish the county park at the center of St. George Island.

The palm planting is the latest phase in the park rehabilitation project, which has also included the installation of a new irrigation system, new sod, and brick pathways around the Lighthouse and Visitors Center & Lighthouse Museum.

The work is funded by a DEP grant awarded to Franklin County largely through the efforts of Rep. Will Kendrick. Additional work will include the repair of the playground equipment (currently in progress by the County Parks and Recreation Department), as well as benches, additional landscaping, and lighting around the lighthouse.

Plans are for the park work to be substantially complete by the projected lighthouse opening date of December 1.

Posted by Administrator - 10/28/08, 07:50 AM

Pathways to the Light

Blank bricks in these pathways around the lighthouse will be replaced with engraved bricks.

St. George Lighthouse Park features a network of brick pathways that connect the Lighthouse to the Visitors Center and surrounding areas.

Brick pavers in these pathways are being offered for sponsorship for $50.00 per brick. Please consider sponsoring a brick paver in honor of yourself, family, friends, pets, or memorable times on St. George Island. Bricks in the pathways to the Cape St. George Light make memorable holiday gifts or tributes to special people.

Inscriptions on the pavers can be up to three lines with a maximum of 18 characters or spaces per line. Inscriptions will be engraved in upper case letters and centered on the brick.

If you wish to participate in this exciting and memorable project, please email us via this website, or call the St. George Island Visitor Center & Lighthouse Museum at 850-927-7744.

Posted by Administrator - 10/28/08, 07:50 AM

October 24, 2008

Dennis Receives FLA's Top Honor

Dennis Barnell accepts the Thomas W. Taylor Award from FLA President Stan Farnham. Stan is wearing a replica of the U.S. Lighthouse Service uniform c. 1900.

St. George Lighthouse Association President Dennis Barnell was honored by the Florida Lighthouse Association as the recipient of the 2008 Thomas W. Taylor Award, presented for “outstanding service on behalf of lighthouse preservation.” The award is FLA’s highest honor, and is named after the organization’s founder and longest-serving president.

The award was presented at FLA’s annual meeting, held October 18 at the Eastpoint firehouse and co-hosted by the St. George Lighthouse Association and the Carrabelle Lighthouse Association.

The Taylor Award is presented annually at the sole discretion of the president of the statewide lighthouse association. FLA President Stan Farnham said, “This year I’m honored and excited to present the award to Dennis because he, along with his team, overcame countless obstacles and proved the naysayers wrong who told him the task was impossible.” Dennis provided, Stan said, “the inspirational leadership to get passionate people to join in the process.”

The award was inaugurated by FLA President Gene Oakes, who presented the first award posthumously to Tom Taylor, and was instrumental in the subsequent renaming of the award in Taylor’s honor. Other recipients of the prestigious award have included Gene Oakes (also honored posthumously), and FLA founding members Hib Casselberry and Paul Bradley, Jr.

Dennis credited all the members of the St. George Lighthouse Association for their work in the reconstruction of the lighthouse on St. George Island. “This award does not belong to me; it is shared by all the committed people who have given of their time, money, and support to make our vision a reality.”

Also at the meeting, SGLA Secretary Terry Kemp was elected to the FLA Board of Directors. Terry will serve as FLA District 4 Commissioner, with responsibility for representing and supporting the lighthouses in the Florida Panhandle in FLA proceedings. Lighthouses in District 4 include Pensacola, Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe., Cape St. George, Crooked River, and St. Marks.

After the meeting, members had the opportunity to climb both the Cape St. George and Crooked River lighthouses. The St. George Lighthouse Association hopes to open the lighthouse for complimentary climbing for local residents on November 29 and 30. The lighthouse is scheduled to open to the public for a small fee starting December 1.

Posted by Administrator - 10/24/08, 07:51 AM

October 14, 2008

Planting Park Sod Begins

Sod planting in progress at the lighthouse.

The first phase of sod planting in Lighthouse Park was completed today, October 14. Twenty pallets with 450 square feet of sod each, for a total of 9,000 square feet of sod, were delivered yesterday.

Local contractor Sam Brown -- working part of the time with a small crew, but much of the time by himself -- prepared the site, installed irrigation, outlined the pathways, and set the sod.

Phase One of the sod installation focused on the area around the lighthouse and Visitor Center. Outlying areas and the lawn around the future Keeper's House will be planted at a later date.

The Palmetto St. Augustine turf grass is salt tolerant and will hopefully thrive in the seaside park around the lighthouse. Right now, at least, it looks beautiful!

For a "before sod" shot, please see the Photo Gallery.

Posted by Administrator - 10/14/08, 07:52 AM

October 11, 2008

SGLA Enjoys Oyster Spat Festival

John Ficklen and Skip Kemp worked at the Lighthouse booth at the Oyster Spat Festival. Also on hand to help were Richard Saucer and Jerry Murphy.

The St. George Lighthouse Association once again participated in the 2008 Oyster Spat Festival over Columbus Day weekend on St. George Island. For the third year in a row, we sold our now famous Red Beans & Rice to enthusiastic and hungry revelers.

Lighthouse volunteers also manned the beer and beverage booths at the festival on Friday night and Saturday afternoon and evening. In addition to the funds raised by selling the Red Beans & Rice and lighthouse merchandise, SGLA may be awarded part of the festival proceeds.

Please see the Photo Gallery for more shots of a fun weekend on St. George Island!

Posted by Administrator - 10/11/08, 07:53 AM

October 10, 2008

Lantern Room Pieces Preserved

The pedestal from the Fresnel lens has been desalinized and painted by the State Preservation Laboratory.

The first batch of original lantern room pieces has been returned from the State Preservation Laboratory in Tallahassee.

The lantern room spent several months in Gulf waters after the collapse of the lighthouse in October of 2005. Many of the pieces were recovered during the salvage effort in April of 2006.

To protect these historic artifacts for future generations, the Preservation Lab under the guidance of James Levy performed a desalinization process and then painted the pieces.

Some of the smaller pieces are on display in the St. George Island Visitor Center & Lighthouse Museum. The larger pieces are in storage and will one day be displayed in St. George Lighthouse Park.

Posted by Administrator - 10/10/08, 07:53 AM

October 09, 2008

Risers Added to Stairs

Risers are installed on the lighthouse staircase.

Risers are being added to the staircase in the Cape St. George Light, as stair construction nears completion. Only about 20 risers remain to be added, and work should be complete by mid-October.

The first shipment of commemorative plaques honoring stair sponsors have arrived and look great! The plaques will be installed when stair construction is complete and all the plaques are in hand.

Custom cypress four-over-four double hung windows have been ordered and should arrive before the end of October. Cypress has been purchased and volunteers will begin building the storm shutters. A lift will be hired to enable installation of the windows and shutters in the 65-foot tower.

All construction on the lighthouse is expected to be completed by early November.

Posted by Administrator - 10/09/08, 07:54 AM