Pensacola Lighthouse
The lighthouse was targeted
by Union gunners during the
Civil War.
Pensacola Lighthouse - Pensacola, Florida
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Pensacola Lighthouse, Florida
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Pensacola Lighthouse, Florida
Pensacola Lighthouse
Still operating today, the historic Pensacola
Lighthouse has stood watch over Florida's
Pensacola Bay since 1859.
Silent Sentinel of Pensacola Bay
The beautiful Pensacola Lighthouse has
towered over Pensacola Bay since 1858 and
is still in use today. Located at the Pensacola
Naval Air Station, the historic lighthouse is a
major Florida landmark.

Authorized by Congress in 1854 to replace
an earlier structure, the tower construction
was supervised by John Newton, an Army
engineering officer. He became a general
during the Civil War and commanded Union
forces at Gettysburg, during the Atlanta
Campaign and at the
Battle of Natural Bridge,
Florida.

The tower was completed in 1858 and lit the
following year. It is 160 feet tall and ranges in
diameter from 30 feet at the base to 15 feet at
the top.

The Pensacola Lighthouse had been in
operation for only two years when the Civil
War came to Pensacola Bay. Confederate
forces darkened the light and removed the
lens to prevent it from being used to help
Union ships in their navigation of the offshore
waters.

They also constructed a battery of heavy
artillery, called the "Lighthouse Battery" near
the tower. This battery was a key target of
cannon at Fort Pickens during the massive
bombardment that shook Pensacola Bay in
November of 1861. The lighthouse itself was
struck six times by shot from Union cannon,
but was not seriously damaged.

The Confederates evacuated Pensacola in
May of 1862 and Union forces repaired the
damage to the lighthouse. A new lens was
installed and the light was restored on
December 20, 1862.

Over the years since the Civil War, the
Pensacola Lighthouse has been struck by
lightning, raged against by hurricanes and
even shaken by an earthquake. It survived it
all, however, and remains in use today.

Although the light itself is now automated,
some say that it is not entirely silent at night.
Popular Pensacola legend holds that the
lighthouse is haunted by a number of ghosts,
among them a runaway slave who once hid
there as well as the restless spirit of a
murder victim. The Pensacola Lighthouse
has been featured on the popular television
program "Ghost Hunters."
The Pensacola Lighthouse is located
adjacent to the
National Museum of Naval
Aviation and historic Fort Barrancas. It can be
accessed daily, most easily through the west
gate of the Pensacola Naval Air Station,
where visitors are given passes to visit the
museum, forts and lighthouse.

The Pensacola Lighthouse is open to visitors
Monday - Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30
p.m. and Sundays from 12:30 - 5:30 p.m. The
grounds are open daily year round. Adult
admission is $5, Children (7-12), Seniors
(65+) and Active Duty Military admission is $3.

Please click here to visit the Pensacola
Lighthouse Association website for more
information.

To reach the Pensacola Lighthouse from
Interstate 10, just exit at Pine Forest Road,
turn onto Blue Angel Parkway and follow the
signs for the Museum of Naval Aviation.
Haunted Lighthouse?
Pensacola legend holds that
the lighthouse is haunted by
several restless ghosts.
A Florida Landmark
The Pensacola Lighthouse
rises 160 feet into the air and
is located at Florida's famed
Pensacola Naval Air Station.
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
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