Sanibel Island Lighthouse.

Sanibel Island Lighthouse.

Image Number

  • COM06465


  • 1980

Date Note

  • Photographed in August 1980.

Series Title

General Note

  • The 104-foot iron-pile Sanibel Island Lighthouse was completed in 1884 after 51 years of requests for a navigational aid. Its third-order Fresnel lens then became a midpoint light between Egmont Key (Tampa) and Key West. Manufactured in New Jersey and shipped to Florida, the tower was lost in a shipwreck two miles from its destination. Divers salvaged all but two small brackets. The pyramidal, 127-step iron tower and two keeper's houses are the oldest buildings on Sanibel Island. The original light was a fixed white beam that varied with a brighter flash every two minutes. The current optic that produces two grouped flashes every ten seconds was installed in 1965. Still active, the lighthouse is not open to the public; the keepers houses are used by employees of the J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The Sanibel Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
  • A nearby historical marker reads, "The first permanent English-speaking settlers on Sanibel Island arrived from New York in 1833 as part of a colony planned by land investors. Although that settlement was short-lived, the initial colonists petitioned the U.S. government for the construction of a lighthouse on the island. No action was taken on that proposal at the time. By the late 1870's, sea-going commerce in the area had increased in volume. The U.S. Lighthouse Bureau took the initiative in requesting funds for a lighthouse for Sanibel Island, and in 1884, construction of the tower began. The station was lighted for the first time in August, 1884. The significance of the Sanibel Lighthouse lies in the regular and reliable service it has provided for travellers along Florida's West Coast. Since 1950, the U.S. Coast Guard property at the lighthouse has been a wildlife refuge."


Physical Description

  • 1 slide - col.

Subject Term

Geographic Term

Subject Corporate

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Sanibel Island Lighthouse.
Sanibel Island Lighthouse.

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Credit this photo

Chicago Manual of Style

Sanibel Island Lighthouse. 1980. Color slide, . State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. <>, accessed 25 March 2019.


Sanibel Island Lighthouse. 1980. Color slide. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. Accessed 25 Mar. 2019.<>.

AP Style Photo Citation

(State Archives of Florida)