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

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Neighborhood Changes Revealed in Old Photos

Posted by: Kathy Fleming in

From the late 19th to the early 20th century the area known as LH park began to see many changes. 1887, the Sloop Dream Goes Aground and keepers' rescue all nine passengers; 1888, Two brick summer kitchens are added to replace the wooden kinds and tim roofing replaces the shingles on the oil house connected to the tower. 1889, In April Head Keeper Major William Harn passes away. His wife, Kate Skillen Harn, becomes second assistant keeper at a salary of $400 a year. An electric call bell replaces the battery operated bell in the tower. 1890, a regular ferry service between St. Augsutine and Anastasia Island is established.
A steam driven trolly is completed to provide transport from the ferry to the beach near the Lighthouse. 1893, a hail storm blows strong enough to sway the tower and stop the clockworks in the watch room, 1898, Spanish American War. In July an emergeny phone line is installed connecting the US Customs House in St. Augsutine to the light station. Signal flags are placed atop the tower. 1901. Peter Rasmussen is named headkeeper. 1905 the Wireless telegraph station (shown as the 2 story white building in these photos) is established on the northeast corner of the lighthouse reservation. 1906, the US Post office locataed 200 yards from the tower was destroyed by fire. The principle records were saved and stored at the light station. 1907, Indoor plumbing and baths are installed int he keeper's house and a windmill is set up. 1909. 5000 people visit the light station this year. 1910, Very high waves break over the sea wall and flood the city. The streetcar track to the island is badly damaged. 1917, On August 8th, special patrol boates #291 and #471 enter the St. Augustine Harbor. On August, 9th the patrol boatd commander establishes a lookout in the tower. The light station is closed to all visitors for security. 1923, new cookstoves are installed. 1925. Electricity is installed in the keeper's house. 1927, Light station received annual suplies by way of the Florida East Coast Railroad rather than by steam ship. An era had ended.

Enjoy,
Kathy

Comments (1)

I didn't comment the first time around but I like your historic photo slideshows. Thanks for including a paragraph putting the images into historical context. Amazing to see how much things can change in your neighborhood over a century. My favorite is the one of the schooner and steamship (no surprise there). Can you tell where they are?

Keep up the good work!

Thanks, Chuck. The steamer/schooner is taken out the northern most window of the watch room, this makes their location somewhere just north of where the wireless station stands today, I believe we've learned that the trolley ran to a dock there, so this makes sense.

Kathy

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