Why the United States blew up a Lighthouse

The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse has faced many perils. Erosion, destruction, the Civil War 9/11, and sequestration are all parts of its story.

The current lighthouse is not the first lighthouse built on Cape Canaveral. The first lighthouse completed in 1848 was a 65 ft white conical brick tower with a keeper’s dwelling. Sailors complained that the light was too weak and too low to be seen before ships were on the reefs near the cape.

In 1850, the lighthouse was abandoned briefly because of warring Seminoles.

In 1860, a new lighthouse was approved but construction was stopped because of the Civil War. During the war, the light was darkened to evade Union forces. At the end of the war, construction resumed. The new lighthouse was situated about 80 to 90 feet from the location of the first tower.

By 1880s, fears of erosion caused the lighthouse to be moved. The old lighthouse was blown up and the rubble was used to prepare a foundation for the lighthouse at its current location.



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