18 February 2009

St Mark's Lighthouse

This is the St Mark's River Wildlife Refuge, which I came to, in order to see the lighthouse here. It would be my luck they were having some kind of festival that day, and not wanting to deal with the fiasco, I decided to take a few photos from the parking lot and call it a day.

One of the NWR waterways

Looking upriver towards San Marcos de Apalache

The current light tower was built in 1842 when the older tower was threatened by erosion. It rests on a bed of limestone taken from fort San Marcos de Apalache and was originally 65 feet tall. The light had survived two hurricanes by the outbreak of the Civil War, when both sides used the light. It was bombarded by Union ships in 1862 and in 1863 Union troops landed to burn the stairs so the Confederates could not use the tower. In 1865 when the Union army landed to march towards Talahasee, they found several explosive charges planted in the tower by retreating Confederate soldiers. Fortunetly the charges did little damage and the tower was soon repaired.

And with a little telephoto...

And here on the loooong drive out, you can see smoke from the many control burns occuring around the state recently. Apparently the fire season these last couple years have left Florida officials feeling a little "burned!" (Oh that was bad!)

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