Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Inside Story

PICT0038

For over 30 years, we have been trekking down from Tallahassee to the lighthouse at St. Marks. A few years ago, I was able to take my first picture of it from the seaside from our son's boat. That was pretty cool. Today "marked" another St. Marks first: we got to go inside the keeper's house that is attached to the light tower itself.

100_0780

The picture above was taken last November. Today the place was absolutely crawling with people, who like us had come for the WHO, the Wildlife Heritage and Outdoors Festival. We have never seen it so populated.

The shuttered windows were open and I took pictures from the inside.

100_1571

100_1580

The stairs to the top were not open to the public, but the entrance was.

100_1576

100_1573

There was a blueprint of the lighthouse.

100_1577

It shows the double wall that tapers from 4 feet thick at the bottom to 18 inches thick at the light. A previous lighthouse there had had a solid wall which weighed too much to support itself, and cracked and was taken down.

100_1572

(The teacher in me cringed to see the typo in the next to the last line.) The mother of our friend (in the scout shirt in an above picture) went to school with the Gresham daughters.

100_1578

The front door: nice view.

100_1579

http://www.stmarksrefuge.org/lighthouse.cfm has good information and history of the lighthouse.

In the scheme of things, our 30 years of observation has been brief. This lighthouse has stood on this site for 166 years, a testament to the builders and keepers of St. Marks. If these thick walls could talk, we'd get the real inside story, the real story of the people who lived and worked here.

3 comments:

wlhawh said...

That was a really good trip
Billy

David said...

I liked the pictures looking out the windows! Great post! Keep 'em coming :)

lesle said...

Jimmy, the fellow who repairs my shoes in the back at the Capitol Shoe Fixery here in Tallahassee, was in the Coast Guard and was Lighthouse Keeper at St. Marks when it was still manned. His son, Nic, who now runs the Fixery, lived at the lighthouse as a kid.

The Fixery used to be across the street from the State Capitol; it's now on Magnolia, two blocks south of the Parkway.