When the tower was first built, the clockwork that revolves the lantern was
operated by a large weight in the manner of a grandfather clock. Every two and a
half hours throughout the period of darkness, found the keeper winding up a huge
weight for the distance of about 20 feet. This method was unsatisfactory for many
reasons, chief of which was that the lantern did not revolve accurately. Old log
books of this era often bear the notations: "revolution off 3 sec." "revolution off 6
sec." In addition to the inaccuracy of the weight-drive mechanism, the labor of
winding up the weight required a man on watch throughout the night, so it was a
happy day in St. Augustine when the electrically driven apparatus was installed.
Frequent checkings by stop watch have proved the new mechanism very accurate
and it is no longer necessary to have a man on duty during the period of darkness.
Silent and tenantless, night after night, the great lantern revolves alone, sending out
its gleam to ships beating away from a treacherous coast.
By day the tower is seen looming far above the surrounding terrain. From
the wind swept gallery encircling the massive lantern, appears a magnificent and
far-reaching view over the sea and land. The green seas of the Atlantic roll far
beyond the eastern horizon, and to the north lie the shimmering sanddunes and the
level pine-barrens of the Florida coast. Southward, stretches the cedar-covered
expanse and coquina rock quarries of Anastasia Island, while Westward lie the
spires of Old St. Augustine and the silver ribbons of the Matanzas and San
The St. Augustine Lighthouse is operated by Principal Keeper, Carl D.
Daniels, and a first assistant. These have other duties also, such