All posts by Shannon

Lighthouse To Host Annual Night Fest Saturday March 4th

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In conjunction with the Junior Service League’s Lighthouse 5K & Fun Run, the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum will be open free to the public from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with crafts, food, and live music.

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL – Continuing the long partnership between the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum and the Junior Service League of St. Augustine (JSL), the Museum will host its annual Night Fest celebration on Saturday, March 4th in conjunction with the Lighthouse 5K & Fun Run. Night Fest commemorates the Lighthouse’s community legacy and is sponsored by Publix Super Markets Charities, Herbie Wiles Insurance, and Harbor Community Bank.

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The 1876 Keepers’ House after a suspicious fire in 1970, before restorations began.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum will open free to the public beginning at 4:00 p.m. The JSL’s Lighthouse 5K race will begin at 4:30 p.m. and the Fun Run will begin at 5:30 p.m. Visitors are invited to explore the various exhibits in the Keepers’ House, and climb the 219 steps to the top of the Lighthouse tower for a spectacular sunset view of St. Augustine. During the event there will be arts and crafts available for children, live music, and other museum activities. Hot dogs, sodas, beer, and other refreshments will also be available for purchase.

In the 1980’s the Junior Service League led a massive community effort to restore the St. Augustine Light Station after a suspicious fire and years of neglect left the grounds in disrepair. The restoration of the Keepers’ House was completed in 1990 and the Lighthouse reopened in 1991. The Junior Service League raised over $1.2 million ($2.4 million in today’s dollars) for the renovations, and continued to work to save the Lighthouse’s original 1874 first order Fresnel lens, which was relit in 1993 during the first Lighthouse festival.

DSC_0866The Museum remains dedicated to the community that brought it back to life, providing educational programs and seasonal camps for local students. In 2016, approximately 50% of camp participants were at-risk youth who received scholarships to attend. To further improve the educational programs at the Lighthouse, a brand new education and research center is being built and is projected to open in the fall of 2017.

In addition to the Museum’s education and research expansion, the Lighthouse has plans to for new exhibition spaces in its World War II-era garage and barracks. These new exhibits will teach visitors about St. Augustine’s role as a U.S. Coast Guard training site during the war.

For more information on the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum’s Night Fest celebration, visit staugustinelighthouse.org

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ABOUT THE ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE & MARITIME MUSEUM:

A pivotal navigation tool and unique landmark of St. Augustine for over 140 years, the St. Augustine Light Station is host to centuries of history in the Nation’s Oldest PortSM. Through interactive exhibits, guided tours and maritime research, the 501(c)(3) non-profit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is on a mission to discover, preserve, present and keep alive the stories of the Nation’s Oldest PortSM as symbolized by our working lighthouse. We are the parent organization to the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

American Alliance of Museums Accreditation

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Last year, the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum sent in an application to become an accredited museum with the American Alliance of Museums.

Our Museum is working toward accreditation with the American Alliance of Museums.

The AAM has brought museums together for over a hundred years. They have assisted with the development of standards and best practices, gathering and sharing of knowledge, as well as been a catalyst for museum advocacy.

Being an accredited AAM museum is national recognition of your museum’s commitment to excellence and highest professional standards with regards to museum operation and public service.

In the United States, accreditation is one of the highest honors a museum can receive, and only around 1,000 museums are accredited.  Additionally, accreditation provides access to more resources to better serve the public trust through our mission to preserve the stories of the Nation’s Oldest Port. Continue reading

Enlightened: Episode 1, Part 3

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Join us in this edition of Enlightened! as we continue our look into the history and science behind the Fresnel lens. In this installment, we will talk a little more about French scientist Augustin Fresnel and how his incredible invention shaped lighthouses forever!

Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel for future episodes of Enlightened!, a Nation’s Oldest Port educational program. 

Enlightened: Episode 1, Part 2

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Did you know the U.S. Lighthouse Service initially declined the use of Fresnel lenses?

In part two of our first episode of Enlightened! (click here if you haven’t seen it yet!), find out why the federal government refused to utilize these revolutionary new lenses even after they were adopted throughout much of Europe.

Enlightened! is a St. Augustine Lighthouse educational program designed to serve our mission to discover, preserve, present and keep alive the stories of our Nation’s Oldest Port as symbolized by our working St. Augustine Lighthouse.