Florida Lighthouse Association, Inc.





Preserving, Restoring, Protecting & Defending Florida's Lighthouse Towers
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FLA Meetings & Events

Below is a list of upcoming FLA Meetings and Events. Click on "show details" and register online today!
Note that you may now pay registration fees online using a credit card.

Past Meeting & Event Photos

Anclote Key Meeting (Tarpon Springs) - May 21, 2011



Upcoming events

    • 14 Oct 2022
    • 15 Oct 2022
    • St. Simons Island, GA
    Register

     JOIN US!

    at the

    St. Simons (GA) Lighthouse Museum


    Registration closes September 30, 2022 (in-person)

    and October 7, 2022 (virtual)

    REGISTER HERE!

    The Florida Lighthouse Association is offering a unique opportunity to explore and discover the fascinating history of the St. Simons Lighthouse and Coastal Georgia during its fall membership event.  Members have the option of attending this event in person or virtually via Zoom. Find out more below!

    What to See and Do              Event Info              Hotel Info

    HISTORY 

    The original lighthouse on St. Simons Island was completed in 1810.  It was an octagonal pattern mostly constructed from tabby—a mixture of lime, sand, oyster shell, and water.  Contractor James Gould was also the first keeper, serving 27 years.  However, the Lighthouse was blown up by Confederate forces in 1862.

    The current 104’ Lighthouse, located on the southern tip of St. Simons Island, Georgia, was first lighted September 1, 1872 (2022 is the 150th anniversary).  It was completed two years behind schedule due to widespread illness, including the death of the original contractor.  The Lighthouse guides ships into St. Simons Sound and warns of the many sandbars in the area.  It is one of only five operating lighthouses on the 100-mile Georgia coast.

    It was designed by Brigadier General Orlando Poe.  During the Civil War, he was General Sherman’s chief engineer during the “March Through Georgia.”  The light station is of a similar design to the “Poe Tower” lighthouses of the Great Lakes.

    An active third order Fresnel lens with a fixed-varied-by-flashes (FVF) characteristic remains in service to this day at the top of the sentinel.  The lens is unusual in that it is a complete fixed lens around which the four bullseye panels rotate.  The beacon flashes white once a minute and has a range of 20 miles.

    A bizarre tragedy struck the station in 1880 when assistant keeper John Stevens fatally shot head keeper Frederick Osborne on the front lawn because of a dispute.  The assistant, who was relieved of his duties, was later acquitted of murder charges.  Some say that Osborne’s ghost still haunts the tower.

    St. Simons has several connections to Florida through its keepers.  The longest serving head keeper, Carl Svendsen, met his wife while serving at Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.  His successors, Arthur Hodge and David O’Hagan, served at multiple Florida lighthouses before taking charge at St. Simons Island.

    The St. Simons Lighthouse Museum opened in 1975 and the Lighthouse opened for public climbing in 1984.  The nonprofit Coastal Georgia Historical Society acquired ownership of the Lighthouse through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.

    WHAT TO SEE AND DO


    At 18 miles long, St. Simons Island remains a sight to behold with its winding streets, moss-lined oaks, charming beaches, and rich history.  You can climb the 129 stairs to the top of the St. Simons Lighthouse (610 Beachview Drive) for a great view of St. Simons Island, as well as Jekyll Island, and Brunswick, the mainland town.  

    In addition to the Lighthouse, you can explore the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum in the keepers dwelling and discover the fascinating history of Coastal Georgia, the Lighthouse, and lighthouse technology.  Both are located on the south end of St. Simons in Pier Village.

    Discover Coastal Georgia’s extraordinary contributions to winning World War II at the World War II Home Front Museum (4201 1st Street).  The Museum is housed in the Historic St. Simons Coast Guard Station, built in 1936.

    While at Pier Village, be sure to stroll the pier overlooking St. Simons Sound and Jekyll Island, where you can watch vessels go past, migrating whales, and citizens crabbing, fishing, and shrimping.  In the Village, shop at the boutiques, and enjoy the many eateries that line the streets.

    Other interesting places, among many, to visit include nearby

    • Fort Federica National Monument, established in 1736 by James Oglethorpe, founder of the colony of Georgia, to protect his southern boundary, a fortress on the coast that grew into a thriving village.  
    • Brunswick, Georgia, an historic port city with buildings dating back to 1819.  Historic Downtown Brunswick, also known as the Old Town Brunswick, is enjoying a renaissance, with the ongoing renovation and restoration of historic buildings and public squares.  Brunswick was the scene of many old movies, including “Conrack,” starring Jon Voight in 1974, the 1955 classic “The View From Pompey’s Head,” starring Dana Wynter and Richard Egan, and a more recent film, “Live By Night,featuring Ben Affleck in 2017.


    EVENT INFORMATION


    The events will begin on Friday, October 14, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 475 Millennium Boulevard, Brunswick, Georgia, with the committee meetings at 3:30 pm EDT and the Board meeting at 4:30 pm EDT.  Immediately following at 6:00 pm EDT will be the general membership meeting.  At 7:00 pm, we will enjoy a buffet dinner catered and served by the Hilton Garden Inn. 

    The buffet dinner will consist of Heirloom and Mozzarella Salad, Honey Basted/Roasted Chicken Breast, Salmon Oscar, Seafood Newburg in Puff Pastry Bowls, Steamed Broccoli with Hollandaise Sauce, Lobster Mac and Cheese, Pecan Pie, soda and water.  Beer and wine tickets will be available for purchase when registering. 

    Josh Liller, FLA’s Historian, is the editor of The Florida Lighthouse Trail, second edition, a newly-published compilation of Florida lighthouse histories.  This book will be available for purchase and signing at the meeting.  You may also bring your copies of this book with you for signing at the meeting.

    On Saturday, October 15, you are free to visit the St. Simons Lighthouse and Museum, the World War II Home Front Museum (both are open 10:00 am – 5:00 pm), or the many other interesting sites and activities on the Island or in nearby areas.

    ADMISSION TO MUSEUMS


    Admission to the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum and the World War II Home Front Museum are each $12 for adults and $6 for ages 6-12.   There is a $2 military discount with ID.


    Combined tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for ages 6-12.  There is a $2 military discount with ID.

    ***Tickets are non-refundable and may be purchased in either Museum Store.***

    DRIVING DIRECTIONS TO THE LIGHTHOUSE


    From Brunswick on the mainland, cross F. J. Torras Causeway to access St. Simons Island. Go right on King’s Way to Ocean Boulevard. At Mallery Street, continue to 12th Street. Turn right and proceed to the St. Simons Lighthouse and Museum.

    PARKING

    There are no museum-designated parking spaces at either the Lighthouse campus or the World War II Home Front Museum, but plentiful, accessible, and free public parking is available surrounding both sites.  At the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum, parking spaces are available along 12th Street in front of the Lighthouse and along Beachview Drive between 12th Street and Mallery Street.  For visitors with limited mobility, we suggest taking advantage of the drop-off area in front of the Heritage Center and using accessible pathways to the west of the building to reach the ramp on the Lighthouse side.  At the World War II Home Front Museum, all beach access parking is available for visitors to the site.    

    IN-PERSON REGISTRATION FEE PER INDIVIDUAL


    NOTES: 

    • Fee includes the Friday night membership meeting and served buffet dinner.
    • Registration and payment must be received by September 30.   Please specify any dietary restrictions when you register.
    • Due to pandemic-related supply chain food and worker shortages, FLA's caterers have had to raise their food service prices. As a result, FLA has had to raise its registration rates. FLA appreciates your continued loyalty and support.
    • Admission to the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum and the World War II Home Front Museum is NOT included in the in-person registration fees per individual, which are provided below. 

    1. Current FLA Member

    a.  Member registration fee - $103

    b.  Member registration fee ($103) and purchase of one drink ticket ($15):  $118

    c.  Member registration fee ($103) and purchase of two drink tickets ($30):  $133

    2. New FLA individual member registration fee ($103) and a 1-year FLA Individual Membership ($30)

    a. New individual member registration fee:  $133

    b. New individual member registration fee ($133) and purchase of one drink ticket ($15):  $148

    c. New individual member registration fee ($133) and purchase of two drink tickets ($30):  $163

    3. New FLA family member registration fee ($103) and a 1-year FLA Family Membership ($40)

    a. New family member registration fee:  $143

    b. New family member registration fee ($143) and purchase of one drink ticket  ($15):  $158

    c. New family member registration fee ($143) and purchase of two drink tickets ($30):  $173

    4. Child Under 15

    NOTE: You must register and pay for an adult member prior to registering a child


    Child under 15 registration fee: $52


    VIRTUAL REGISTRATION FEE

    Members have the option of attending the meeting virtually via Zoom. A link will be provided to registrants before the meeting. The cost for this option will be $12 for members and non-members.

    CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY

    To cancel your meeting registration and receive a full refund, you must submit an e-mail to FLA (info@FloridaLighthouses.org) by September 30, the registration cut-off date. The refund will be made regardless of the reason.

    With very few exceptions, cancellations made after the registration deadline of September 30 will not receive refunds. To receive a refund after the registration deadline, you must submit an e-mail to FLA (info@FloridaLighthouses.org) describing the circumstances that occurred after September 30. If approved, FLA will refund you the registration fee less a $20 processing fee and your pro-rata share for catering, meeting venue, and any transportation costs that it paid to vendors. A full refund will not be granted. FLA is a non-profit organization and must generate sufficient funds to cover the costs that it must pay to its service and product providers.

    SERVICE AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS

    The Florida Lighthouse Association’s policy only allows service animals at its events, as required under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Emotional support animals are not protected by the ADA and will not be allowed entrance to FLA events.

    BLING

    Friday: Wear your favorite Halloween shirts, hats, and decorations.

    Saturday: ALL lighthouse attire—Show your LOVE for lighthouses.

    RECOMMENDED HOTELS

    Courtesy room blocks for October 14 & 15 with checkout on October 16:


    1. Hilton Garden Inn

    475 Millennium Boulevard

    Brunswick, GA 31525


    (912) 267-1111


    Room rate $114 + tax Ten (10) (1 King Bed) and $124 + tax Ten (2 Queen Beds).


    The reservation can be for one or two nights. There is no minimum stay requirement.

    MUST CALL THE HILTON GARDEN INN PHONE NUMBER LISTED ABOVE AND REQUEST SPECIAL FLA RATE. — Arrival October 14, Departure October 16.

    Based on availability, group rate will be available to FLA members.


    Cutoff Date: September 9 (calls for reservations at the special FLA rate must be received prior to this date.)


    Hilton Garden Inn, the venue for FLA’s St. Simons Lighthouse membership meeting, is 13 miles from the St. Simons Lighthouse.


    2. Holiday Inn Express & Suites

    236 Gateway Center Boulevard

    Brunswick, GA 31525


    (912) 267-9999


    Room rate: $129 + tax for Ten (10) (1 King Bed) and Ten (2 Queen Beds), breakfast is included.

    The reservation can be for one or two nights. There is no minimum stay requirement.


    MUST CALL THE HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS & SUITES PHONE NUMBER LISTED ABOVE AND REQUEST SPECIAL FLA RATE. — Arrival October 14, Departure October 16.


    Cutoff Date: September 14, (calls for reservations at the special FLA rate must be received prior to this date.)


    Holiday Inn Express & Suites is 1 mile from the Hilton Garden Inn, the venue for FLA’s St. Simons Lighthouse membership meeting, and 12 miles from the St. Simons Lighthouse.


    3. Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott

    107 Gateway Center Circle

    Brunswick, GA 31525


    (912) 264-2060


    Room rate: $119 + tax for Five (5) (1 King Bed) and Five (Two Queen Beds) includes hot breakfast.

    The reservation can be for one or two nights. There is no minimum stay requirement.


    MUST CALL THE FAIRFIED INN PHONE NUMBER LISTED ABOVE AND REQUEST SPECIAL FLA RATE. — Arrival October 14, Departure October 16.


    Cutoff Date: October 7, (calls for reservations at the special FLA rate must be received prior to this date.)


    Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is 1 mile from the Hilton Garden Inn, the venue for FLA’s St. Simons Lighthouse membership meeting, and 12 miles from the St. Simon’s Lighthouse.


    4. Courtyard by Marriott

    580 Millennium Boulevard

    Brunswick, GA 31525


    (912) 265-2644


    Room rate: $119 + tax for Five (5) (1 King Bed) and Five (2 Queen Beds), includes breakfast.


    The reservation can be for one or two nights. There is no minimum stay requirement.


    You MUST register at the Courtyard by Marriott, Brunswick, by using the reservation link.


    Book your group rate for Florida Lighthouse Association. Your credit card will be authorized 24 hours prior to your arrival date to eliminate any billing issues prior to your stay. — Arrival October 14, Departure October 16.


    Cutoff Date: October 6, (all entries for reservations at the special FLA rate must be entered prior to this date.)


    Courtyard by Marriott is 0.25 miles from the Hilton Garden Inn, the venue for FLA’s St. Simons Lighthouse membership meeting, and 13 miles from the St. Simons Lighthouse.


    If you have issues with the reservation link, please e-mail info@floridalighthouses.org.


    FLA will contact the hotel and resolve the issue.


    We look forward to seeing you at the St. Simons membership meeting!!!

    • 14 Oct 2022
    • 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Sapelo Island
    Register

    SPECIAL EVENT:

    JOIN US

    FOR A VISIT TO

    THE SAPELO ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE

    PRIOR TO

    THE FLORIDA LIGHTHOUSE ASSOCIATION’S 

    FALL MEMBERSHIP MEETING IN BRUNSWICK, GEORGIA

    October 14, 2022

    Registration Closes September 30, 2022

    SIGN UP ONLINE HERE

    Prior to its fall membership meeting, the Florida Lighthouse Association invites you to join us on a guided tour of Sapelo Island, Georgia, a natural treasure trove of tall marsh grass, pristine beaches, and gnarled coastal forests, and climb its beautifully restored, 80-step Lighthouse, which offers some terrific views. 

    HISTORY

    Did you know that….

    1. The first Sapelo Island Lighthouse was completed in 1820 and is one of the few surviving Winslow Lewis lighthouses.
    2. The Light Station originally served primarily to guide ships to Darien, a thriving lumber port in the 19th century.
    3. An iron front range light was added to the Station in 1877. It still stands today, one of the very few such structures still surviving anywhere in the country.
    4. The Lighthouse’s Lewis lamps were replaced by a fourth-order Fresnel lens in 1855. The Lighthouse’s distinctive daymark of red and white horizontal stripes was added in the 1870s.
    5. Around the turn of the century, the site was seriously threatened by erosion. A replacement iron lighthouse and elevated keeper dwellings, nearly identical to those on Sanibel Island, were completed in 1905 a little farther inland.
    6. The second lighthouse was discontinued in 1933. It was dismantled and rebuilt on South Fox Island in Lake Michigan, where it stands today. The lighthouse’s rotating third-order Fresnel lens was sent to Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, where it is still in use today.
    7. James Cromley was head keeper of Sapelo from 1873 until his death on New Year’s Eve 1889. All three head keepers after him (until the Lighthouse was discontinued) were his sons. The Cromley sons also served as Sapelo’s assistant keepers from 1873 until the 1920s.
    8. In 1998, the brick Tower, brick cistern, and 1890 brick oil house were restored. A small observation platform stands nearby on the footers of the 1905 iron lighthouse.
    9. Today, the State of Georgia owns 97% of Sapelo Island. The northern half of the island was purchased in 1969 from the R.J. Reynolds tobacco family. A mansion owned by the family still exists on the Island.
    10.  Sapelo Island still has about 50 full-time residents, members of the Hog Hammock community. They are mostly Gullah-Geechee, descendants of Africans enslaved on barrier island plantations.

    SPECIAL EVENT DETAILS

    Overview

      FLA members who have registered for and been notified that they are part of the 36-person-limit tour group will begin their day at the Sapelo Island Visitor Center, 1766 Landing Road, Darien, Georgia.  Here, they can learn about Sapelo's cultural history, coastal wildlife, and complex beach and dunes systems. After a short walk to the nearby dock, members will board a Georgia state-run passenger ferry operated by the GA Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  The Island is accessible only by ferry.

      After a 30-minute ferry ride, members arrive at this 12-mile-long island.  Their tour guide will greet and invite them to board an air-conditioned bus for a trip first to the Lighthouse and then for a tour of the Island.  At the Lighthouse, the bus will have to park a short distance away—about 300’—and members will then follow a gravel trail to the entrance.  The DNR only permits 5 people at a time to climb the stairs, then a ladder to enter the light room. No one is permitted to step outside of the light room at the top of the Lighthouse. Once those 5 people return to the bottom, the next 5 can begin their climb.  It's an easy climb. Instead of the typical wrought iron steps, this Lighthouse has a wooden set.

      During the tour of the Island, some of the landmarks that may be seen include the Hog Hammock community, the environmental research center, Reynolds Mansion, Nanny Goat Beach, and the University of Georgia Marine Institute. 

      Note:  The Georgia DNR limits the tour to 36 to ensure that there is space on its bus to accommodate a wheelchair (4 seats fold up to allow for the wheelchair safety straps.)

      Tickets, Pricing, and Schedule

      This event is limited to the first 36 members who have registered and paid for the St. Simons Lighthouse meeting, based on the date they sign up for the Sapelo Island event, and kept their paid FLA membership current .  Please sign up here.  FLA will notify you by e-mail if you have been included in the tour group.

      The cost for this special event is $15 for each adult and $10 for each child (ages 6 - 12), which includes the round-trip ferry ride, guided island tour, and Lighthouse climb.

      Tickets must be purchased at the Visitors Center, which opens at 7:30 a.m., on October 14.  Tickets must be paid for either by cash or check.  Credit and debit cards will not be accepted. 

      FLA tour participants must be at the Sapelo Visitor Center Ferry dock with ferry ticket in hand to check in by 8:00 a.m. The ferry departs at 8:30 a.m. and does not wait for anyone.  Participants arrive at Sapelo Island at 9:00 a.m.  The bus will bring the FLA tour participants back to the Sapelo Island ferry dock at 11:30 a.m. to catch the noon ferry back to the Sapelo Visitor Center.

      Parking

      Please park in the overflow parking lot.  This is because of construction near the Visitor Center and close to the ferry.  Parking in the latter areas is limited.  Carpooling is encouraged. 

      We have attached, below, a screen grab map of the Visitor Center/parking/ferry locations. The yellow star is the overflow parking lot where participants should park.  The yellow line shows the short path from the overflow lot to the Visitor’s Center. The red line shows the path from the Visitor’s Center to the ferry (shown as the green star). 

      There are a very limited number of handicapped parking spaces available in front of the Visitor’s Center, past the overflow lot. Unfortunately, the overflow lot does not have any other reserved spaces.  Please note that the overflow lot is an unpaved, gravel lot.

      Driving Directions to Visitor Center

      From Florida and Georgia towns to the south:

      Take I-95 North to Exit 58—Eulonia, GA.

      After exiting, turn right onto GA Hwy 99 and drive approximately one mile to the Hwy 99 and 17 intersection and 4-way stop.

      Cross Hwy 17 through the four-way stop and continue on GA 99.

      Drive approximately 9.25 miles to Meridian, GA.

      You will see brown signs pointing to Sapelo Island placed along the route.

      The last brown Sapelo sign will point for you to turn left.

      There is also a large rectangular sign with blue lettering for the Sapelo Island

      National Estuarine Research Reserve (SINERR) next to Elm Grove Baptist Church.

      Turn left at the sign onto Landing Road.

      Landing Road will make a sharp right turn and take you over a small bridge.

      Park in the overflow lot, and walk either to the Visitors Center or directly down to

      the ferry for check-in and boarding.  (You may also drive down to the ferry to unload) and then return to the lot to park your car.)


      The Sapelo Island Visitors Center is 21 miles from the FLA meeting venue, Hilton Garden Inn, in Brunswick, Georgia.


      SERVICE ANIMALS AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS

      The Florida Lighthouse Association’s policy only allows service animals at its events, as required under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).  The Georgia DNR’s policy provides that only service animals are permitted on the ferry and bus and at the Visitors Center.  Emotional support animals are not protected by the ADA and will not be allowed entrance to FLA events.

      FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

      1. Are there public bathrooms on the Sapelo Island ferry? There are no restrooms on the ferry but there are some on the mainland before boarding (at the Visitor’s Center and a building near the dock) as well as once members arrive on the Island. Please be aware that there are no restrooms near the Lighthouse.
      2. Can snacks and beverages brought by FLA participants be eaten on or at the ferry, tour bus, or Visitors Center?  There’s a covered pavilion with tables near the Lighthouse that participants can use if they would like to sit and have snacks.  On the ferry, water is permitted, but other eating/drinking is discouraged.  On the bus, water is permitted, but other eating/drinking is discouraged.  At the Visitors Center, there are picnic tables and a good amount of outdoor space that would be better for snacks rather than near the exhibits in the Visitors Center.
      3. What happens in case of inclement weather?  The DNR typically offers its tours rain or shine.  The DNR has only had to cancel in extreme weather situations, such as very high winds or a hurricane, that would make the ferry transfer difficult.  If DNR needs to cancel, it will let FLA know so that it can communicate the cancellation to its participants.
      4. If a participant has additional questions or concerns, who should they contact?  Participants should call the Sapelo Island Visitors Center on (912) 437-3224, Tuesday - Saturday, 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  They can also send an e-mail to sapelovc@darientel.net.  

      We look forward to seeing you on the Sapelo Island tour and lighthouse climb!

      Alan and Dora Lee

      Co-Chairs

      Events and Meetings Committee


      Florida Lighthouse Association, Inc.

      100 Pine Arbor Circle

      St. Augustine, Florida 32084

      E-mail address: Info@FloridaLighthouses.org


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