Tag Archives: Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

2018 Florida Road Trip Part 13

3 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


Day 13 Wednesday 10/31/2018


After a great breakfast at Denny’s this morning, I headed south on I-95 to visit the Southeast Museum of Photography (which is part of the Daytona State College) located in Daytona Beach.  This museum is best known for its rotating annual series of artistic events and photographic art displays.



The museum didn’t open until 11:00, so while I was in Daytona Beach, I headed west on U.S.-92 a few miles to visit the Daytona International Speedway Museum.  Because of all the race-day traffic cones and painted lane directions, it took me a while to find the museum. Once I found the museum entrance, I discovered you can’t see the cars in the museum collection unless you are part of one of the museum’s guided tours.  I was fast heading for a time/location crunch, so I said, “No thank you”for today’s museum tour and headed back up I-95 to meet my son for lunch in Ormond Beach.



Before I started this trip, I knew I would be going right by my son, Bill’s, office there in Ormond Beach on the last day of my trip, and made arrangements with him to meet at a restaurant close to his office.  When I arrived at Bill’s office, he had already made arrangements for us to eat at one of his favorite BBQ Shacks.  We drove over to Colt’s Pig Stand, where I had a “Verity Plate” of some of the most delicious pork sausages.  Outside the restaurant, Colt’s Pig Stand has the absolute largest “mobile BBQ Cooker” I’ve ever seen!  When they say, “We Deliver”they really mean it.

After that delightful lunch with my son, Bill, he went back to work, and I headed south on I-95 and east on U.S. 92 again.  This time I was looking for the Daytona Beach International Airport, so I could visit the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Embry-Riddle was founded in 1925 as an aircraft dealer and U.S. Mail provider, located in Cincinnati, OH.  During WWII Embry-Riddle operated as an aviation school in Miami, FL.  After the war, in 1965, the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute was moved to the Daytona, Beach location.  The school continued to grow and expand over the years, and was renamed Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1970.  I had always wanted to visit the university, thinking they would have a static display of aircraft spanning the years.



But I was wrong.  This large scale model hanging in the lobby of one of the Aviation Maintenance Sciences buildings was just about it.  The only other airplanes I saw as I drove thru the Engineering campus were the many Cessna 150’s being flown by student pilots. I sat and watched them take off and land for a few minutes, and I estimated there was an airplane taking off at about 1-minute intervals, and one landing about every 2-minutes.  All I can say is, they must have some really good Traffic Controller’s in their tower to keep all those airplanes out of trouble.



Next I headed south on U.S. -1 and A1A a few miles to visit the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse & Museum located at Ponce Inlet.  The first lighthouse built in this area was a wooden structure in 1835, but it didn’t last. In late 1835, during the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), the natives attacked and set fire to the structure and it collapsed the following year.  It was not until 1887 that another lighthouse (known as the Mosquito Inlet Light) was built on the north side of Mosquito Inlet.  This 175 foot tall lighthouse is the tallest in Florida, and one of the tallest in the U.S.



In 1927 the name Mosquito Inlet was changed to Ponce de Leon Inlet, and the lighthouse was turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939.  In 1972 the Coast Guard deeded the lighthouse to the city of Ponce Inlet.   A Lighthouse Preservation Association was formed to restore the lighthouse and three lighthouse keeper dwellings, and they also operate the museum.  In 1982 the lighthouse was restored to active service.



By now I was only about 50 miles from home, and headed south on U.S.-1 thru the familiar towns of New Smyrna, Edgewater, Oak Hill, and Mims, before reaching the outskirts of Titusville. As I pulled into my driveway, ending another interesting and unusual trip, I was filled with that warm feeling I get when I’ve been away from home for a while, and know I am about to see my lovely wife DiVoran,  and be sleeping in my own bed tonight.  I sure hope you have enjoyed reading about my adventures on this Florida Road Trip as much as I have writing about it.  It’s been fun, reliving the various experiences accompanied by some of the sights and sounds along the way.  That’s it for now folks.  Hope you will join me next time, when I take to the road again, to who knows where and when.




—–The End—–



Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.




One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Florida Travel~Ponce Inlet

13 Jun

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix


The Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum


Located 10 miles south of Daytona Beach in the Town of Ponce Inlet.  4931 S Peninsula Dr, Ponce Inlet, Fl 32127

Situated on the north bank of Ponce Inlet where the Halifax and Indian Rivers flow into the Atlantic Ocean, the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum is a must see for anyone interested in Florida, maritime, or local history.

In 1774, the British put the very first lighthouse on the north side of the Inlet. It wasn’t really a lighthouse at all! It was simply a huge bonfire that was kept burning on top of a sand dune. A real lighthouse was built in 1835 on the south side of Mosquito Inlet.



This was a round tower made of bricks, and it stood 45 feet tall. Amazingly, the lamp was never lit. Why? The governor never ordered any fuel oil for the light. Next, a storm came and damaged the foundation. Then the Seminole Indians raided it and tried to burn the tower. Finally, in April of 1836, the lighthouse toppled over into the sea. This lighthouse lasted only a year and was never even lit!

The present light station was completed on the north side of the inlet in 1887. The new tower had a lamp at the top that was fueled by kerosene. This little light could be seen for more than 18 miles out in the ocean because it was magnified by a special Fresnel (pronounced Fra-NEL) lens.



The light station had three houses for the lighthouse keepers and their families, as well as an oil storage building and other small buildings. This light station still stands today! The inlet’s name has been changed from Mosquito Inlet to Ponce De Leon Inlet.

Lighthouse Facts:

The tower is 175 feet tall

It is the tallest lighthouse in Florida

There are 213 steps to the top of the tower

The tower beacon flashes six times in 15 seconds followed by a 15 second eclipse

The light from the beacon can be seen up to 18 miles out to sea

Approximately 2.5 million bricks were used to build the Light Station

The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is one of only 12 lighthouses in the country to have been designated a National Historic Landmark.

 Looking up from the ground floor


Looking out from the top


Staircase and lighthouse window



Lighthouse Point Park

5000 South Atlantic Avenue

Ponce Inlet, FL 32127

(386) 756-7488

Consisting of 52 acres of pristine land on the north side of Ponce DeLeon Inlet, this park features fishing, nature trails, an observation deck and tower, swimming, picnicking and birding.






The southern tip of Ponce Inlet. The natural beauty of the undisturbed land has been preserved for all to enjoy. Dolphins frequent the shoreline, gopher tortoises can be found in sandy areas, and other wildlife. There is also a designated area for your dog.

The Ayers Davies Lens Exhibit Building houses one of the finest collections of restored Fresnel lenses in the world, including the rotating first order Fresnel lens from the Cape Canaveral lighthouse and the restored original Ponce Inlet lighthouse first order Fresnel lens.



Smyrna Dunes Park


From Lighthouse Point Park, you can see Smyrna Dunes Park on the other side of the river.


Although only a short distance away across the inlet, it is a distance to drive from one to another. The lighthouse is entered through Port Orange/Daytona and Smyrna Dunes Park is entered through New Smyrna Beach.

The Dunes Park is also dog friendly.

It has long boardwalks to the beach and river.


This park is similar as the same activities available and has beautiful dunes also.






Both of these parks are scenic, peaceful and great to spend the day in.



Next week we will drive north on A1A to Washington Oaks State Park and Matanzas Inlet.




I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
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