The late Cliff Shattuck, a noted lighthouse historian and author, was often quoted as saying, “The U.S. Coast Guard has destroyed more American history than every other branch of the government combined,” a statement he often got in trouble with by saying. But, sadly, there is a lot of truth to that statement.
An example of this was found deep in the woods near Florida’s Pensacola Lighthouse. It seems that the pedestal that held the lens was removed from the lighthouse in 1938 and stored on site, probably in the carriage house. Then, prior to a 1950s inspection of the lighthouse, the Coast Guard keeper was ordered to dispose of old log books and any other pre-Coast Guard artifacts and any other unused equipment. Recently the pedestal of the lens was found in the woods near the lighthouse. The 1950s date of deposition was supported by soda bottles found near the pedestal that were dated from the early to mid 1950s. Eventually, the Pensacola Lighthouse Museum hopes to replace the pedestal as part of the interior restoration of the lighthouse.
This story appeared in the
Jul/Aug 2014 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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