The first Cape Canaveral Lighthouse was built in 1848 and stood a mere 65' tall with an inadequate lighting mechanism. Many ships almost ran aground on the reef before they ever spotted the light. Construction of a new tower was started just before the Civil War, but was put on hold due to that.
After the Civil War was over, construction resumed and the tower was completed in 1868. Less than ten years after completion, the tower was being prepped and disassembled for a move. Erosion was threatening the tower. Due to the tower construction of cast iron plates, the pieces could be unbolted and taken apart. The tower was moved about 1.5 miles inland to where it currently stands. The move took about two years to complete and was completed in 1894.
The lighthouse originally had a first-order Fresnel lens. Once NASA started launching rockets, the lens had to be removed due to cracks from the massive vibrations of take off. The original lens is now on display at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse museum. The current lighting apparatus is a DCB 224 with two 1000 watt lamps.
Directions: The lighthouse stands on the grounds of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The base is closed to the public. The only way to see the lighthouse is to take one of the tours offered by the Kennedy Space Center. Make sure you get there early. When we were there in May of 2006, the last tour had already ran for the day. Rather than lose a whole day by waiting for tomorrow, we skipped this lighthouse and went onto the next one.View more Cape Canaveral Lighthouse pictures