PUBLISHED: August 3, 2017
August 7th is National Lighthouse Day and, here at Sundial, we want to celebrate by showcasing the historic Sanibel Island Light, also known as the Sanibel Lighthouse. In operation for 133 years, the lighthouse is located on the eastern end of the 12-mile-long island we call home.
The lighthouse was first opened on August 20, 1884, over 50 years after its initial proposal. Settlers had petitioned for the build a number of times throughout the years and they finally got their wish. With the Civil War behind them, the argument was made that a lighthouse would promote trade and would make travel to the island easier and safer. Once the funding to build was put in place in 1883, the construction began and the Sanibel Lighthouse was born.
As a part of our celebration of this landmark during National Lighthouse Day, here are some fun facts about the Lighthouse:
- The lighthouse was operated on Kerosene Oil for 65 years until erosion caused the lighthouse to become automated in 1949.
- In 1982, residents in the area surrounding the lighthouse could live there for free in exchange for the upkeep of the area.
- The Coast Guard handed the lighthouse over to the city in 2004.
- The lighthouse was recently restored in 2013 for a grand total of $269,563.
- Henry Shanahan, the second keeper of the lighthouse in 1888, was originally denied the position because he was illiterate.
- 670 acres of land was reserved for the construction of the lighthouse.
- Although the actual lighthouse is not open to the public, the area around it is.
- The lighthouse is 98 feet tall.