Saturday was Florida Lighthouse Day, so what a delight it was to revisit the St. Marks Lighthouse and discover it open. It’s only open for visits on special occassions, including some of the festivals held at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge throughout the year. In full lightkeeper regalia, several volunteers and interpretive specialists recounted the difficult lives that the lightkeepers and their families lived since the original lighthouse was built in 1832. It’s an outpost along the Gulf of Mexico, more than 10 miles from the nearest neighbor, a beacon for navigation and the iconic symbol of the Big Bend.
A tour inside the lighthouse revealed a museum-in-progress to recount the history made here. Quite a crowd attended the event when we visited yesterday morning, the weather just perfect and skies so clear you could see the village of Panacea off in the distance across Dickerson Bay.