A collection of blogs and musings from the people that work at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum - Florida's Finest Lightstation.

Barely Legible

A blog by Beau Phillips, Public Relations Coordinator at the St. Augustine Lighthouse.

March 25, 2011

It was Very Cool! 19th Annual Lighthouse Festival

Posted by: Beau Phillips

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June 11, 2010

Smithsonian has a new Maritime Partner

Posted by: Beau Phillips

Posted on StAugustine.com: June 11, 2010 - 12:12am
St. Augustine Record Editorial

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is a newly accepted partner of the Smithsonian. That simple statement leads a news release about the Lighthouse's newest affiliation.

Just saying Smithsonian and the Lighthouse Museum in the same sentence elevates our landmark attraction to almost rare air. For sure, it allows the Lighthouse access to Smithsonian museum artifacts and exhibit pieces that very few would see unless they traveled to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Museum Director Kathy Fleming said the affiliation has been a museum goal for years. It's an honor to join such a prestigious group -- one of only 13 in Florida and one of 160-plus museums and cultural organizations in 40 states, Panama and Puerto Rico since its establishment in 1996. The benefit of access to the Smithsonian's collections is certainly enough of a draw but added to that is the opportunity for bringing Smithsonian educational programming to our community.

Continue reading "Smithsonian has a new Maritime Partner" »

June 9, 2010

International Partnership Gets Help from Galveston

Posted by: Beau Phillips

By Harvey Rice
June 8, 2010, 9:22PM

GALVESTON — Sam Turner had no idea where he was going to get enough live oak to supply Spanish shipwrights building a replica of the 1779 brig Galveztown, named after Galveston, Texas.

Then Hurricane Ike swamped the city Sept. 13, 2008, killing an estimated 40,000 trees with salt water.

“This project got kicked off in May 2008, and Ike hit in September, and the connection was made that there is a lot of wood there,” said Turner, archeology director for the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum in St. Augustine, Fla.

Continue reading "International Partnership Gets Help from Galveston" »

May 25, 2010

"Building Boats"

Posted by: Beau Phillips

Read the full story and view John Pemberton's great photos.

December 24, 2008

Its Been Another Great Year!

Posted by: Beau Phillips

November 19, 2008

Back to 1888

Posted by: Beau Phillips

It’s Pocahontas Number Three coal, from the famous seam in Tazewell County, Virginia, and according to Brendan Burke it is great for blacksmithing.

After Burke moved the coal from the edges of the forge into the firepot, he labored at the blower churning air through the tuyere and into the fire. Green smoke rose from the coals as Burke fed the flames. “The smoke is just weakness leaving the fire,” said Burke. More precisely, impurities, like sulfur, burning off of the coal as it smolders create the green smoke and turn it into coke that is very different from the kind you would drink with your value meal. To a blacksmith, coke is the very high quality source of heat left once the “weakness,” or impurities, burn away.

Burke turns the blower with one hand to heat the steel
Burke turns the blower to heat the steel

Continue reading "Back to 1888" »

October 9, 2008

Day 9

Posted by: Beau Phillips

Today we began to pressure wash the underside of the observation deck.

Pressure Washing Underneath the Overservation Deck

Continue reading "Day 9" »

October 1, 2008

Just Another Day...

Posted by: Beau Phillips

Someone wise just told me, "the work of preservation is never done," and so we continue to work. On the list for today, and about four more months worth of tommorrows, is the Lantern Preservation Project, a wildly creative title I know -- especially since I just came up with it -- but an accurate one at least.

Yesterday metal workers began to cut a piece of the "upper gallery" from the top of the Lighthouse. If your worried don't be, the "upper gallery" is the area above where visitors walk. They are removing a deck plate so they can create a mold and cast new deck plates. The new plates will replace the ones that have been damaged by more than a hundred years of wind and rain.

Cutting Deck Plates

Workers cut deck plate - taken from inside the lens room

Continue reading "Just Another Day..." »

September 22, 2008

Lighthouse Lens Restored

Posted by: Beau Phillips


Check out the great news video on the restoration of the Ship Island Lighthouse lens from Biloxi by clicking on "Continue Reading . . ." below.

Continue reading "Lighthouse Lens Restored" »

March 19, 2008

Good Times

Posted by: Beau Phillips

In case you missed it, here is the 16th Annual Lighthouse Festival in pictures. Press the speaker button at the bottom to hear a little music while you check out the action.

February 19, 2008

Can You Help Grow our Community Service at the Lighthouse and LAMP?

Posted by: Kathy Fleming

The Lighthouse would love to have you as a member of our Founding Lights Family. You can make a difference.

It takes a great many of us working together to keep the Light Station strong. It takes all our support to keep the lighthouse preserve and programs going.

Today, we are about $25,000 short of having $350,000 dollars in our small, but growing endowment fund. Why is $350,000 the magic number? Well, when we hit $350,000, then we can apply for another $250,000 from the State of Florida. And that will help us a great deal. It makes us more secure, more stable in a world where changes happen and surprises hit us with new things to repair. It makes us more able to continue wonderful community services like those so many enjoy.

Our Founding Lights Campaign helps preserve and keep alive our story for generations. Fifty percent of every Founding Lights pledge becomes part of the endowment. This money is not ever spent, but and stablity and generates interest that supports programs and our restoration efforts. The remaining funds are put to good use right away.

Won't you help protect the lighthouse? Won't you help save our maritime heritage?

Please join us as a Founding Light!

The Levels Founding Lights: $1,000 per year for five years - Leadership level Legacy Circle: $500 per year for five years - Recognition in a special annual ceremony here and up. Heritage Club: $250 per year for five years Guardians: $100 per year for five years
Find a Pledge Form at this link: http://www.staugustinelighthouse.com/foundinglights.php.

Or call us here at the Lighthouse 904 829-0745.

Kathy Fleming
Executive Director

July 10, 2007

Around the World in 80 Days!

Posted by: Beau Phillips

I know that one is already taken, but that's what it feels like. Right now I'm in... Palm Beach? Vero Beach? No that was last night. Ft. Lauderdale's tomorrow, Boca Raton! I'm in Boca Raton -- Absolutely -- and we're just making sure that people down in the southern hemisphere of Florida remember where the oldest port in the nation is. Its a good thing I did too, most of the people that we've spoken too haven't been to St. Augustine in a few years. Sounds like it's time for another trip and what's a trip to St. Augustine without coming to the Lighthouse. "What's an incomplete trip; I'll take blogs that sound like advertisements for a 1,000 Alex."

OK, OK, so I'm still in a little bit of a salesman mode, but its easy to be a seller when your a believer. You want a vacation to the beach, we got beach. How about upscale and elegant? These are principals developed by Henry Flagler and continued today by the Casa Monica, Castillo Real, and the World Golf Village -- come on this is easy. There is Guana Tolomato Matanzas Na... the GTMNERR and Anastasia State Park if your interested in eco-traveling, and for the heritage traveler St. Augustine is a must see U.S. destination. We've got it all baby, so come on down or up, as the case may be, and check us out.

This advertisement was paid for and endorsed by the City of St. Augustine and the St. Augustine Lig... I had you going too.

April 8, 2007

Live at the Masters!

Posted by: Beau Phillips

Here at the St. Augustine Lighthouse it is a little chilly this Easter Sunday morning; (and by the way Happy Easter!) however, none of that matters because its Sunday at the Masters.

For golf enthusiasts - check that - for those who are sports fans you already know how great a day this is. Happy Easter indeed! For those who are not I won’t try to explain it in the condescending way guys often do, Instead I’ll just tell you its tradition, pageantry, emotion, excitement, and arguably the best sporting event every year. Why am I writing about it? Because it is everywhere, and to steal a line from Tony the Tiger it’s Grrrrreeeaaaat!.

A golf tournament steeped in Tradition that has historically been resistant to change is leading the way in live sports entertainment. Visit Masters.org and you’ll get to watch the most exclusive golf tournament from several different perspectives for free.

April 3, 2007

Keepers Still Have Work to Do

Posted by: Beau Phillips

They're not carrying oil up 219 steps or performing the daily arduous tasks that a Light Keeper would have had to do in the days before electricity. However, today those of us that work at this functioning piece of Americana have our own responsibilities in keeping an aid to Navigation -- just ask Cory and Angela.

This weekend Cory and Angela enrolled in our Guest Keeper Program here at the St. Augustine Lighthouse. They participated in lens maintenance, worked in the Museum Store, shadowed a school tour, and served beverages in the Keepers' Cafe', and got to do some of the things that Light Keepers are privileged to do. I hope you guys enjoyed your time here and that the top of the tower at sunset was worth the climb.


March 4, 2007

My life isn't that bad

Posted by: Beau Phillips


This is where I work. Sure there are 219 steps to the top and no elevator but when you get there...
Well you can see. Oh yeah, and its winter here today 65 degrees - put your jacket on. This isn't a place that you come and say, "I love to visit I just wouldn't want to live here." Its the place that you visit and say, "I'm gonna make my money and retire here." Good Food and Great views, but I'll let you decide on the veiws for yourself.


Thats not all folks...

Continue reading "My life isn't that bad" »

February 25, 2007

Windy but Great

Posted by: Beau Phillips

Sometimes I think people have a hard time believing me when I tell them that I enjoy my time atop the tower because it is often different. Its true, there are not always optimal conditions, certain times of the year staying the duration of your two and a half hour shift can be a chore. However, there are always at least 20-30 minutes that your glad your up there.

Today wind gusts in the high thirties closed the deck to children, and kept the adults allowed onto the bright red observation deck on their toes. Grip your hat, grip the rail, hug the wall, there is no prize for making it all the way around the 360-degree deck without holding on, so why do it. No one dared, not that the tower would ever be open if there were winds nearing speeds that could possibly lift a person of any size off the deck itself. Our restrictions are there because there is no emergency elevator and if someone was to bump their head on the railing there isn’t an expedient way down there is only the staircase.

No one else that spends time with me on top of tower is thinking the same thing, but it’s cool to see someone step out – one step at a time- into the wind. If you don’t believe me when the weather channel goes to its live remotes during the next tropical storm, watch. The reporter isn’t doing their standup from inside a room with their back to a window he/she is standing out in it. I’m not advocating people to dare hurricanes to feel the wind in their hair, but trust us we would not let you go out into the wind if it was to dangerous. So if your lucky enough to come to the lighthouse on a day when it’s a little windy lean into it and imagine your in your very own Weather Channel weather update, live from the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse.

February 18, 2007

Daytona 500 Fans Welcome!

Posted by: Beau Phillips

The Daytona 500 is Today! Here at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum we’re a leisurely drive from the oval in Daytona, and all day and week there will be visitors walking around in the gear of their favorite driver.

On this chilly but sunny Sunday, fans of Jr., Gordon, Johnson, and Tony Stewart have already raced to get to the top of the tower so they could get back down in time to see the race.

So we welcome all Nascar fans that will converge at our black, white and red tower sporting their guys colors, and in case you’re wondering the record to the top of the light is 52 seconds.

February 11, 2007

First Trip to the Big Apple

Posted by: Beau Phillips

So I went on my first ever trip to the Big Apple this week, and I tried to take a big bite. Unfortunately, it was frozen solid.
It wasn’t even the good kind of cold there was no snow, it was just face numbing, wear so many clothes you are bound to look like the Michelin Tire Man cold. However, even that can’t keep a good man down, numb face and all I still visited Central Park, Ground Zero, Times Square (aka - the center of the universe),
NYC Center of the Universe
Rockefeller Center,
Top of the Rock NYC
and even rode the Subway. I think I walked more in three days in NYC than I have in the three years I’ve lived on the First Coast.
Oh yeah, I also got some work done. We (Dr. Sam Turner [Director of Archaeology LAMP) and I] represented the Lighthouse at a reception hosted by St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, and the Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau. We met dozens of travel writers… Exactly, tell them a little about us and then ask them what a person with one day in NYC must do before they leave. Who would know better what there is to do than a travel writer?
Believe it or not I actually listened, Hey Robert, Jimmy’s Corner was great! To help those who haven’t been yet or for those going back, what is on your must do list in NYC?

Continue reading "First Trip to the Big Apple" »

February 4, 2007

I Take Pictures

Posted by: Beau Phillips

I take pictures. I am far from a professional photographer, but it is part of my job. Cool, right? Yeah, of course; however, when you are responsible for taking pictures at events, workshops, and camps that will represent your organization, there is a little pressure that goes along with that.

For Instance, the difference between a good picture and just any old shot could make the difference in someone reading a story, flyer, or whatever the use, and passing it by or turning the page. Not only can a good picture make the difference in someone stopping and paying attention, it can help someone to connect to the story and, in our case, connect to our cause. Photos are more than just a little important, they are another way to grab your attention and make you notice the things that are happening here. Take a picture of a kid being handed an award and you have a visual aid for a story. Take a picture of the same kid hugging his mom with a huge smile on both their faces as he holds his award and everyone cheers, and you have a picture that will make someone stop flipping through the pages and read why.

So do I like taking pictures? I love it. Do I like the challenge of taking photos that can explain, without words, the importance of what is happening here? Absolutely. I am just saying, I am far from a professional photographer. It’s a great responsibility, so I am willing to hear any tips you guys may have.

Here are a few scenic shots, what do you think?
On top of St. Augustine

Continue reading "I Take Pictures" »

January 29, 2007

Hello World!

Posted by: Beau Phillips

Hello world… or more likely, Hello Mom and Dad this is my blog. My name is Beau Yukio Phillips, I am 27, a University of Alabama Grad, an Air Force Brat, and somehow my first job, in my chosen career field, wound up being at a lighthouse. What are the odds?

Some of you may be thinking, “what would a PR guy do at a lighthouse?” Good question, it’s the one I asked when I read the ad in the newspaper. I called anyway and here I am. More than a year after I started, I have found that the PR guy at the Lighthouse has plenty to do.

For those who do not know what a public relations practitioner does, it can be many things. Bottom line, my job is to communicate our message to the public. The message of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum is one of education, preservation, and discovery. I will not allow this to turn into an issues ad, so I won’t expound on all the good things I think we do here. However, if you want to hear about those things you can read about them on our webpage(shameless plug).

Instead, at least at this point, I would like this blog to be about the day-to-day things a PR guy gets to do here at this lighthouse and museum. You may here about events like Luminary Night, or trips out on the research vessel with our marine archaeologists, a busy day in the office, or a mistake that I am almost sure to make.

So welcome to my barely legible ramblings, I hope they may provide a window into what it is like to work in public relations at this lighthouse. If not, I hope they will at least make you laugh.

Is there anything you are particularly interested in hearing about?