Photographer's Note

The Jupiter Lighthouse as seen from across the Jupiter Inlet. The Jupiter Inlet Light is located in Jupiter, Florida, on the north side of the Jupiter Inlet. The site for the lighthouse was chosen in 1853. The lighthouse was designed by then Lieutenant George G. Meade of the Bureau of Topographical Engineers. The Jupiter Inlet silted shut in 1854, forcing all building supplies to shipped in light boats down the Indian River. Work was interrupted from 1856 to 1858 by the Third Seminole War. The lighthouse was completed in 1860 at a cost of more than $60,000.00.

The lighthouse was built on a natural mound. the top of the 105 foot tower is 146 feet above sea level. The light can be seen 25 miles at sea. The walls are 31 inches thick at the base and taper to 18 inches near the top. The tower was left unpainted for the first fifty years, but had grown so discolored that it was painted red around 1910.

During the Civil War blockade runners brought supplies to the Confederacy through the Jupiter Inlet, while the Union Navy tried to stop them. Fearing that the lighthouse was an aide to the Union ships, a group of Confederate sympathizers disabled the light and removed the machinery from the lighthouse. A Union agent found the machinery where it had been hidden, and took it by boat to Key West, Florida for safekeeping.

The lighthouse was put back into service after the war. The lighthouse was very isolated. Supplies were delivered once a year by boat. The year's supply of flour would go bad with weevils and worms. The lighthouse keepers had to fish and hunt to provide food. They would also buy venison from the Seminoles for ten cents a pound.

In 1928 the mineral oil lamps and the weights that turned the lamp were replaced with electrical equipment, and a diesel generator was installed for emergency backup. The Okeechobee Hurricane the same year cut the electric power and damaged the diesel generator, so the keeper reinstalled the oil lamps, and his 16-year old son turned the lamp by hand through the storm. The top of the lighthouse swayed 17 inches during the hurricane.

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Additional Photos by Asa Jernigan (asajernigan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3592 W: 88 N: 5553] (21427)
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