Florida’s Gasparilla Island Lighthouse has been turned over to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to be licensed to the Barrier Island Parks Society (BIPS) so that the historic 100 foot tall lighthouse can be restored and saved for future generations.
Proving that tenacity pays off, the Barrier Island Parks Society, which is a federally approved nonprofit organization comprised of local citizens, has worked tirelessly for an amazing 27 years to affect a property transfer of the lighthouse.
The Gasparilla Island Lighthouse, which is also known as the Boca Grande Rear Range Lighthouse and the Boca Grande Entrance Range Rear Lighthouse, is one of only a small number of lighthouses that have the distinction of having served in two states. It was originally built in 1881 in Lewes, Delaware where it served as the Delaware Breakwater Range Rear Lighthouse. In 1921 when it was no longer needed in Delaware, it was dismantled and shipped to Florida where it was reassembled and eventually became the Boca Grande Entrance Range Rear Lighthouse and is now known as the Gasparilla Island Lighthouse.
Total restoration of the tower, and a clean-up of the lighthouse site, is expected to cost approximately $1,800,000. Contributions to the Barrier Islands Parks Society can be mailed to The Light Keeper’s Fund, P.O. Box 654, Boca Grande, Florida 33921. (Photos by Pat Biggs.)
This story appeared in the
May/Jun 2016 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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