January 28 & 29, 2017
Egmont Key Lighthouse
Registration closes January 23, 2017
Egmont Key Egmont Key is an island located off the southern tip of St Petersburg, Florida and guards the entrance to Tampa Bay; it is only accessible by boat. In 1848 a 40 foot lighthouse was built, but this lighthouse was damaged by a hurricane and lightning. In 1858 it was replaced by a new lighthouse at a cost of $16,000, which would withstand ANY storm. The light was a third order Fresnel lens with a focal plane of 86 feet. This lighthouse survived the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and numerous storms, but in 1944 the lantern room was removed due to water damage and a Double Head DCB-36 rotating beacon (later replaced with a DCB-24) was installed on top of the capped tower. About 85% of the lantern room has been located in a wooded area about 100 feet from the lighthouse. It is hoped that the lighthouse can be restored to its 1858 appearance, and that the 1858 Keeper’s dwelling can be rebuilt.
The island of Egmont Key has a lot of history besides the lighthouse. Between 1828 and 1858, a time of Indian Wars and relocation efforts, a stockade was build for the Indians that were being relocated to Oklahoma. During the Civil War Egmont Key was under Union control, and was the home base for the East Gulf Blockading Squadron; Union sympathizers also went to Egmont Key to escape from the Confederate forces. During the Spanish-American War, Fort Dade construction was started on the island, and by 1911 had over 70 buildings and a population of 300. Fort Dade was deactivated in 1921, and over the years the wood buildings either burned down or were destroyed by storms; only the brick roads can be seen today.
Due to the Gasparilla Festival in Tampa our boat trip to the island is not available on Saturday, so we have modified our schedule. We will have our meetings on Saturday and go to the island on Sunday. The meetings on Saturday will be at Tampa Bay Watch Tampa Bay Watch Map and will start with the committee meetings at 11:00 AM followed by the Board meeting at 12:00 PM. The membership meeting will begin about 1:30 PM with an Italian late lunch/early dinner around 3:30 PM. The program will end about 5:00 to 5:30 PM, when we will have time to socialize, and have our raffle and auction. There will also be a Wine Tasting of Egmont Key wines during this time.
We will have two speakers, the first will be Candace Clifford, Historian for the U.S. Lighthouse Society and the leading researcher and expert on the Coast Guard Archives. The second speaker will be the Egmont Key Park Ranger for the last 15+ years, Tom Watson.
On Sunday we will go over to the island. The boat will depart Fort DeSoto Park Bay Pier Fort DeSoto Park Map (this is not the exact location of the Bay Pier BUT it is close) at 9, 10, and if we have over 95 attendees, 11 AM with return trips at ,1, 2 and 3 PM. ON THE RESERVATION FORM PLEASE INDICATE YOUR PERFERRED TIME TO GO TO THE ISLAND AND I WILL TRY TO ACCOMMODATE ALL REQUESTS. The Egmont Key Alliance will conduct ½ hour tours around the island.
NOTE: In my previous mailings I stated that there would be hot dogs on the island for purchase; however, that was incorrect. Although there will be water available for sale on the island, THERE WILL BE NO HOT DOGS.
THERE ARE NO RESTROOMS, so plan according. There is a $5 per car fee for Ft DeSoto Park so you may want to car pool.
The cost for the event will be $60 for members and $85 for non-members, which includes a 1 year membership to FLA. The fee includes the meeting, the Italian lunch/dinner with wine, the Social, and the boat trip, to/from Egmont Key on Sunday.
Located in south St Petersburg with a beach. (7 miles from Tampa Bay Watch and about 11 miles to Bay Pier where we catch the boat to Egmont Key)
6800 Sunshine Skyway Ln S
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
Rate; Standard room $99.00 (ask for Florida Lighthouse Association rate.)
Cut-off date; January 14, 2017
Located on the beach in St. Pete Beach. (7.5 miles to Tampa Bay Watch and 11.5 miles to the Bay Pier.)
600 Gulf Blvd.
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
Rate; Standard room $119 (ask for Florida Lighthouse Association rate)
Cut-off; January 6, 2017
No beach (11.4 miles to Tampa Bay Watch and 15.4 miles to the Bay Pier)
1200 34th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
Rate: $129.00 for King or Double. (Ask for Florida Lighthouse Association rate)
Cut-off: January 6, 2017