- Dames Point Light
Dames Point Light Location on the shoals off Dames Point, St. Johns River, Florida Coordinates Coordinates:
Year first lit lightship, 1857; lighthouse, 1872 Deactivated 1893 Foundation wood pile with cast-iron sleeves Construction wood frame Tower shape Square house Markings / pattern white with red piles Focal height 35 feet (11 m) Original lens Fifth-Order Range 11 mi Characteristic fixed white light
The Dames Point Light marked an 8-foot-deep (2.4 m) shoal at a sharp bend in the St. Johns River in Florida that was a danger to ships heading to or from Jacksonville. In 1857 a small lightship was placed at the Dames Point shoal. The lightship was also equipped with a foghorn and bell. During the Civil War, the lightship was towed to Jacksonville, and all equipment was stored on shore. The ship did not survive the war, and the shoal remained unmarked until 1872.
On 3 March 1871 Congress appropriated $20,000 "for erecting an iron screw-pile lighthouse on the shoals off Dames Point, St. John's River in the State of Florida". During the winter of 1871-1872 the structure was framed at the workshop at Lazaretto Point, Maryland and the iron work prepared under contract. In March, 1872, a working party was dispatched to erect the structure which was completed in June, 1872.
The lighthouse stood on a shoal in 8 feet of water, being built on six wood piles, with cast iron sleeves, and had two fender-piles, one up and the other down stream. The fixed white light was first exhibited on 15 July 1872. In 1891 it was reported that the structure had been struck several times by lightning, and an additional lightning conductor of copper was provided in that year, to run from the lantern sill to one of the iron piles and thence below the lowest water line.
In 1893 the establishment of numerous post lights in the St. Johns River above and below the Dames Point Lighthouse made the continuance of the light unnecessary and it was discontinued 28 February 1893. The lantern and lens were taken down and transferred to Charleston, South Carolina and the lantern parapet was roofed in with shingles. The remaining lighthouse structure was destroyed by fire on 25 December 1913.
The Dames Point Light was located close to the present-day north bridge pier of the Dames Point Bridge that crosses the St. Johns River.
- "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Florida". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. http://www.uscg.mil/history/weblighthouses/LHFL.asp. Retrieved June 29, 2008.
- Florida Lighthouse Page - Dames Point Lightship and Lighthouse History - accessed June 29, 2008
Lighthouses of FloridaSee also: List of operating lighthouses in FloridaAlligator Reef • Amelia Island • Amelia Island North Range • American Shoal • Anclote Keys • Cape Canaveral • Cape Florida • Cape San Blas • Cape St. George • Carysfort Reef • Cedar Key • Charlotte Harbor • Crooked River • Dames Point • Dog Island • Dry Tortugas • Egmont Key • Fowey Rocks • Garden Key • Gasparilla Island • Hillsboro Inlet • Jupiter Inlet • Key West • Northwest Passage • Pensacola • Ponce de Leon Inlet • Rebecca Shoal • Sand Key • Sanibel Island • Sombrero Key • St. Augustine • St Johns • St. Johns River • St. Joseph Point • St. Marks • Unmanned reef lights of the Florida Keys • Volusia Bar
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