Preservation 50 Friday: Memorial Day Getaway at Pensacola

Pensacola Lighthouse

Pensacola Lighthouse, Florida.

Salute the Blue Angels and pay tribute to our war dead on Memorial Day weekend.

A full day of activity beacons you at Pensacola, Florida. With pristine white sand beaches, a stoic lighthouse and the Naval Aviation Museum, there is much to explore.

Take a moment to pause at the Memorial Day ceremony at the All Faiths Chapel at the Naval Air Station Pensacola. Next, head to the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Pensacola Lighthouse is located on the Naval Air Station, the home of the Blue Angels. Experience the power of the mighty Blue Angels at eye level from the catwalk of the Lighthouse. Climb the landmark 1859 lighthouse and learn its history during a tour. Explore the Richard C. Callaway Museum with local history exhibits.

Museum signage

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum.

Stop by the nearby Naval Aviation Museum, the world’s largest Naval Aviation Museum. End the day at Historic Fort Barrancas built 1839-44.

For more information on the Pensacola Lighthouse, visit


Heavenly Lighthouse


Ponce de Leon Lighthouse

Florida’s tallest: Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse.

A halo surrounds this lighthouse as its ascends to the heavens. Florida’s magnificent and tallest lighthouse—Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse.

Preservation 50 Friday: Discover Ponce de Leon Lighthouse

Florida's tallest lighthouse.

Florida’s tallest lighthouse.

Ponce de Leon Lighthouse is the second tallest lighthouse in the United States. It guards the treacherous waters off the east coast of Florida. Located 10 miles south of Daytona Beach, this lighthouse offers much to explore.

Fresnel Lens on display.

Fresnel Lens on display.

The campus has a visitor’s center, Keeper’s house and dwellings, museum and lens exhibit. The lighthouse museum features exhibits on the United States Lighthouse Service. The Ayers Davies Lens Exhibit Building houses one of the finest collections of restored Fresnel Lens in the world.

A view from the lighthouse.

A view from Ponce de Leon Lighthouse.

On Memorial Day,  the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse honors service personnel with free admission. For more details, visit

Preservation 50 Friday: A Beacon Of Light at Big Diamond

Hillsboro lighthouse

Hillsboro Lighthouse Inlet at Pompano Beach.

Preserving lighthouses is an ongoing pursuit. Because of erosion and the hazards of being near the ocean, the demands, upkeep, and costs of preserving lighthouses can be quite large. While the United States Coast Guard (USCG) oversees many lighthouses, it is often the Lighthouse association that rally the public to help with the preservation of lighthouses.

Since its inception in 1997, the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society (HLPS) has worked closely with the USCG and Coast Guard Auxiliary with the aim of preserving the Hillsboro Lighthouse in Pompano Beach. The HLPS has successfully repaired and restored the Lighthouse’s original Fresnel Len. HLPS also was responsible for the reactivation of the lighthouse. Today, the HLPS is working to combat beach erosion that threatens Hillsboro lighthouse or “Big Diamond” as the locals refer to it.

For more information on how to help preserve the Hillsboro Lighthouse or join HLPS, visit

Passion and Persistence at Ireland Lighthouse

Straw Island Lighthouse, used with permission from John Eagle Photography.

Straw Island Lighthouse, used with permission from John Eagle Photography.

Like a kid begging for candy, the islanders of Straw Island would not take “no” for answer when requesting a lighthouse.

For over 20 years, islanders sent proposals. They eventually persuaded Trinity House to build Straw Island Lighthouse in 1878.

See Straw Island Lighthouse with renown Lighthouse expert, John Eagle, August 20-27.

For more information on North Ireland Lighthouse tours, visit

Preservation 50 Friday: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Gay Head Lighthouse

Gay Head Lighthouse copyrighted by Elaine Marie Austin.

I thought about the adage, ” A picture is worth a thousand words,” as I began trying to figure out how to paint the Gay Head Lighthouse. The stunning colors of the cliffs were amazing backdrops for the lighthouse.

The two were intertwined. As the cliffs eroded they created additional hazards for mariners sailing through the rocky coast. Thus, part of the rationale for the building of the lighthouse was to warn mariners of these hazards.

Then, I learned that the Gay Head Lighthouse was just moved to avoid dropping off the cliffs due to erosion.

It was now in its final resting place–for at least another 160 years! Yet, a banner and reinforcements were still in place— a daunting reminder of what had just happened.

Finally, I got inspiration and began painting. I call my lighthouse paintings portraits. Each tells a unique story. What a story to tell. In the painting, the lighthouse is in two sections to signify movement.

For more on my lighthouse paintings, visit

Preservation 50 Friday: Saving Gay Head Lighthouse

Gayhead Lighthouse

Gay Head Lighthouse sits with moving banner and reinforcements around its base.

The successful moving of the Gay Head Lighthouse highlights the impact concerned citizens can have on preserving Lighthouses and other precious landmarks.

Gay Head Cliffs at Martha's Vineyard.

Gay Head Cliffs at Martha’s Vineyard.

Millions of dollars were donated to save the lighthouse (that saves lives) from falling off Gay Head Cliffs.