Sanibel Island Light
The Sanibel Island Light Station in 1933.
|Location||East end of Sanibel Island|
|Year first lit||1884|
|Tower shape||Square, pyramidal, skeleton, iron framework, inclosing stair-cylinder and surmounted by lantern|
|Height||98 feet (30 m) feet (102 feet (31 m) above sea level)|
|Original lens||third order Fresnel lens|
|Characteristic||1901: fixed white varied by a white flash every 2 minutes;
1933: two grouped white flashes every 10 seconds
Sanibel Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters
|NRHP Reference #||74000648|
|Heritage||place listed on the National Register of Historic Places|
The Sanibel Island Light or Point Ybel Light was one of the first lighthouses on Florida's Gulf coast north of Key West and the Dry Tortugas. The light,98-foot above sea level, on an iron skeleton tower was first lit on August 20, 1884 and has a central spiral staircase beginning about 10 feet above the ground. It is located on the eastern tip of Sanibel Island, and was built to mark the entrance to San Carlos Bay for ships calling at the port of Punta Rassa, across San Carlos Bay from Sanibel Island. The grounds are open to the public, but the lighthouse itself is not.
Residents of Sanibel Island first petitioned for a lighthouse in 1833, but no action was taken. In 1856 the Lighthouse Board recommended a lighthouse on Sanibel Island, but Congress took no action. In 1877 government workers surveyed the eastern end of the island and reserved it for a lighthouse. Congress finally appropriated funds for a lighthouse in 1883. The foundation for the new lighthouse was completed in early 1884, but the ship bringing ironwork for the tower sank two miles (3 km) from Sanibel Island. A crew of hard-hat divers from Key West recovered all but two of the pieces for the tower.
Punta Rassa became an important port in the 1830s and remained so up to the Spanish–American War. It was primarily used to ship cattle from Florida to Cuba. Until the railroads reached the area in the 1880s, ranchers drove their cattle from open ranges in central Florida to Punta Rassa for shipment to Cuba.
The lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The City of Sanibel now owns the Point Ybel tract and structures, although the tower is still operational under U.S. Coast Guard control.
- Dudley Richardson 1884 – 1892
- Henry Shannahan 1892 – 1913
- Charles Henry Williams 1913 – 1923
- Eugene Shanahan 1924 – 1926
- William Demere 1926 – 1932
- Roscoe McLane 1932 – 1935
- Richard J. Palmer 1935 – 1946
- William Robert England 1946 – 1949
- McCarthy, Kevin M. (1990). Florida Lighthouses, Paintings by William L. Trotter, Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press. ISBN 0-8130-0982-0.
- National Park Service Inventory of Historic Light Stations - Florida Lighthouses - retrieved February 7, 2006
- "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Florida". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Retrieved February 7, 2006.
- Sanibel Island Lighthouse History - retrieved February 7, 2006
- AMATEUR RADIO LIGHTHOUSE SOCIETY - List of Lighthouse Coordinates - retrieved February 7, 2006
Media related to Sanibel Island Light at Wikimedia Commons