The historic St. Marks Lighthouse constructed in 1842 is located in the beautiful St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Withstanding over a hundred storms, the St. Marks Lighthouse has been a navigational beacon for over a century and a half guiding recreational, military, and merchant vessels from around the world to the mouth of the St. Marks River.
The structure consists of the light keeper's house attached to the 80 foot tower, both resting on a 12 foot thick limestone base. According to local legend the limestone blocks are from the ruins of old Fort San Marcos de Apalachee. Eighty-five steps spiral up the brick tower to the lantern room, the first seventy-two are wood and the last thirteen are iron. The tower walls are four feet thick at the base, tapering to 18 inches at the top. The lantern room still contains the Fresnel lens installed in 1867. Over the years oil, kerosene, and electricity have powered the lamp which can be seen up to 15 miles. The keeper's house has four foot thick brick walls with twelve windows and two chimneys. Two exterior doors open onto the long covered porch. The St. Marks tower pattern has always been white with a black lantern top.
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