67th Florida State
Square & Round Dance Convention

67th FLORIDA STATE SQUARE & ROUND DANCE CONVENTION – “Lighting the Way to Friendship & Fun in 2021”
February 19-20, 2021  
www.FloridaSquareDance.com

 

LIGHTHOUSE  #6

EGMONT KEY LIGHT

 
Egmont Key is a small island in the Tampa Bay area.  It is known that Spain ruled the Florida area longer than the United States had been a country but it soon gave way to British rule.  It was under British rule that the Key was named.  It was named after the Earl of Egmont who was Lord of the Admiralty and a very prominent man in Brittan, John Perceval.
 
At the time the first lighthouse was being built (1848) a Colonel Robert E. Lee was making a survey of the southern bay coast and recommended some defensive works be built. That was when the first Lighthouse was put on the Key.   It lasted less than 6 months because a hurricane washed over it with huge 15 foot waves.  Needless to say, that was referred to as the GREAT HURRICAN of 1848.  Even though it was rebuilt there were many more valiant storms that took its toll on the structure second tower so it was dismantled in 1857.   A second tower built and lighted in 1858, this time it was constructed with 3-foot-thick brick walls and stands 90 feet tall. 
 
Before the second lighthouse was built the Seminole Indians were being forced to migrate to Oklahoma but they were relocated on Egmont Key for a while.  Their chief, Billy Bowlegs, was offered $200,000 to move his tribe westward voluntarily, he refused and lead an attack in Big Cypress instead which started the Third Seminole War.  It was this incident that eventually lead to the Indians now infamous “Trail of Tears”.
 
It was during the Civil War that the “light” was removed from the top of the lighthouse by the Confederates mostly to frustrate the Union Navy’s efforts to blockade Tampa Bay.   Early in the Civil War, Confederate blockade-runners used the island as a base.  Later it was captured (in July 1861) by the Union forces who used it as a base for attacks on the Confederate ships and other hostile positions in the Tampa area.
 
Egmont Key is steeped is so much early American history it would be very hard to give it justice.  The Spanish-American War, Second & Third Seminole Wars, Civil War, and even World War 1 and World War 2 are all etched in Egmont Keys History.  There are many books at your local library that would be worth while researching and enjoying.  Or a lot of this information here I found in “Florida’s Fabulous Lighthouses” book which you can order from Carol Douget, Convention Chairman.   They will be only $16.00 each now and I believe there are still 4 left.  Contact her at
cldcpa@yahoo.com or phone:  410-952-7408.  This is another “money-maker” for the 2021 Florida State Square Dance Convention.

 

Judy Anderson

Publicity

67th FLORIDA STATE SQUARE & ROUND DANCE CONVENTION – “Lighting the Way to Friendship & Fun in 2021”
February 19-20, 2021  
www.FloridaSquareDance.com

 

LIGHTHOUSE  #5
SANIBEL ISLAND LIGHT

 
Sanibel Island Light is located on the eastern end of the small 12-mile-long island across the mainland of Florida’s Gulf coast from Punta Rassa.  It is now connected to the mainland by a causeway bridge built in the 1960’s.
 
As early as 1833 the residents of Sanibel petitioned for a lighthouse to be built but Congress took no action at that time.   And again, in 1856, the Lighthouse Board requested a lighthouse be built, again, Congress took no action.   Then in 1877 a group of government workers surveyed the eastern end of the island.  This time these government workers “reserved” a section of the land for the lighthouse project – but – again no action.   It was not until after the Civil War that yet another petition was submitted to Congress stating that a lighthouse would cause a big increase in trade and that boaters and travelers would be able to visit the island more easily.   Finally, in 1883 Congress appropriated $50,000 for the project and the lighthouse was finally started in February 1884.  It was lit for the first time in August of 1884.
 
The lighthouse is built 112 feet above sea level using an iron skeleton-type tower.  It has a focal plane of 98 feet.  There is an external spiral staircase which the lighthouse keeper had to climb to service the lamps when needed.  There were no provisions made for the keeper to live inside the structure, however, a small home was built beside the lighthouse for his needs. 
 
There have been two recorded big hurricanes that struck the lighthouse but fortunately there was minimal damage either time.  The first recorded one was in 1944 where it is said that several residents and the keeper clung to the outside spiral staircase after the keepers’ home was destroyed –  all did survive.  The second hurricane recorded was Charley in 2004.  The predicted forecasted storm surge of 13 feet never materialized so nothing was lost.
 
The State Convention is still being planned for Friday and Saturday, February 19 & 20 at the Daytona Beach Convention Center.  There are several great different money making ideas being planned.  Of course, there is the usual souvenir shirt, red, with the convention lighthouse logo.  Then there will be the two 5-foot-tall wooden Lighthouses to be raffled off.  Pictures and tickets of these will be distributed to each area soon along with more raffle tickets for the beautiful handmade quilt featuring 10 of “Florida’s Fabulous Lighthouses”.   “Florida’s Fabulous Lighthouses” is the title of the coffee-table book where I have taken excerpts for these articles, there are some for sale also.
 Stay safe, wash your hands, practice social distancing and PRAY – PRAY – PRAY

 

Judy Anderson

Publicity

67th FLORIDA STATE SQUARE & ROUND DANCE CONVENTION – “Lighting the Way to Friendship & Fun in 2021”
February 19-20, 2021  
www.FloridaSquareDance.com

 

LIGHTHOUSE  #4
KEY WEST LIGHTHOUSE

 
Here’s an interesting little tidbit I read about:   Ponce de Leon sailed to the Keys in 1521 and named them “The Martyrs” because he thought they looked like “long suffering human beings”.  Fortunately, that name did not last.
 
The original Key West Lighthouse was built in 1825, by the Federal Government, a short four years after Spain ceded it to the United States.  The waters off the Florid Keys were so perilous that salvaging goods from the many wrecked ships was the major lively hood of its people.  In 1825 Congress authorized the building of a lighthouse in Key West.  The original lighthouse, sitting on nothing but sand, was destroyed in the Great Hurricane of 1846, many lives were lost as some of the residences took shelter in the lighthouse.
 
Work on the current tower was started in 1847 but funding was so slow that the lighthouse didn’t get finished until 1849, even though at that time it was considered “state of the art” in design.  The people thought it was so beautiful they were anxious to see it completed.  This new lighthouse was built on one of the highest points in Key West, Whitehead Point, and stood 60 feet tall.  It was powered by 15 oil lamps.  The initial focal plane was 67 feet above sea level.  An additional 26 feet was added to the lighthouse in 1894 thus raising the focal plane to 91 feet.
 
At that time the Key West Lighthouse was one of the few lighthouses in the South that remained in the hand of the U.S. Government thought out the Civil War.  Thus, during the war it served to help the Union warships navigate the waters around Key West as they came and went from the naval station there.
 
The Key West Lighthouse remained in operation until 1969 when it was declared obsolete and was deactivated.  The tower was transferred to Monroe County in 1972 and subsequently leased to the Key West Art & Historical Society.
 
Here’s another little tidbit of information:  U.S. Highway #1 STARTS in Key West, Florida and ENDS in Fort Kent, Maine, not the other way around, a distance of 2,369 miles.  U.S. #1 does continue into Canada.
 
There is not much to report this month about the upcoming 2021 Florida State Convention because our Chairman, Carol Douget, had been restricted from flying back to Florida from Maryland.  She had flown up there the beginning of March to be with her sister, who was hospitalized (non-Virus related) but when it was time to fly back the airlines were shut down (that WAS Virus related) so she could not return – HOWEVER – that ban has just been lifted and she may be home now.  I do know that the two (2) Big Lighthouses that are being raffled at the convention have been completed.  (There was an unfinished one at this years convention.)  Richard said they are both painted and ready to grace the lucky winners’ yards.  There will be pictures in upcoming magazines/flyers so be on the look-out for them.  I know you will want one at your home for sure.

 

Judy Anderson

Publicity

67th FLORIDA STATE SQUARE & ROUND DANCE CONVENTION – “Lighting the Way to Friendship & Fun in 2021”
February 19-20, 2021  
www.FloridaSquareDance.com

 

LIGHTHOUSE #3
ALLIGATOR REEF LIGHTHOUSE

 
Interesting facts I will share as we travel around the State of Florida about our Fabulous Lighthouses will be distances between, where they are located, historical information and just curious things to know.  For instance:  our last stop was Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, there is only one other lighthouse between Jupiter and Miami – Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse.   The next lighthouse is not until we reach Miami, the Cape Florida Lighthouse but from there to Key West there are 17 structures.  Not all are on land, some were built on reefs, some on sand bars and some on piles of rocks.
 
Traveling south on US #1 from Miami to my next write-up, Alligator Reef Lighthouse, there are 7 lighthouses – most of which are built on reefs, (Alligator being one), 2 on land and 1 on rocks.  There are names like Fowey Rocks, Bobo Chila, Molasses Reef, Hen and Chickens.  But Alligator Reef sounded interesting to me.  There are no alligators there and the reef is not shaped like one either.  It was named for a ship, the USS ALLIGATOR.  This ship successfully conducted missions against pirates in the early 1800s but, sadly, was lost when it ran on the reef in 1822.  However, the crew was so dedicated to keep the ship from falling into pirates’ hands, they actually destroyed it.  It is said the ship still lies on the shallow bottom near the reef.
 
This lighthouse is 150 feet, top to bottom, with a focal plane of 136 feet of light, per official Coast Guard viewings.  Built in 1873 at a cost of $135,000, an almost unheard of amount of money in those days, it is extremely structurally sound as it weathered the infamous Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 with winds gusting from 200 to 250 miles per hour and with seas surging 30 or more feet above normal.  It has been reported that over the years some brave lighthouse keepers even lashed themselves to the structure to avoid being washed away by hurricanes.   Now that’s dedication.
 
And it is with this same dedication that Carol and Richard Douget are going ahead with their plans for the 2021 State Convention, Lighting the Way to Friendship & Fun.   It will still take place in Dayton Beach at the Daytona Ocean Center, same place as last year, on February 19 & 20, 2021.  We all pray and hope this nasty virus will be gone long before then and that square and round dancing will once again be the high-light of our fun.  There will be more news about the activities being planned as well as the “how-to’s” in the upcoming months.  In the meantime-----please bump elbows, keep social distancing and smile behind your masks!

 

Judy Anderson

Publicity

67th FLORIDA STATE SQUARE & ROUND DANCE CONVENTION – “Lighting the Way to Friendship & Fun in 2021”
February 19-20, 2021  
www.FloridaSquareDance.com

 

LIGHTHOUSE #2
JUPITER INLET AT JUPITER BEACH

 
The name “Jupiter” is quite old.  It predates the arrival of the Europeans.   Native Americans called the area Jobe but some English cartographers decided that it looked like Jove, the main god of the pagan Roman pantheon and renamed it Jove which eventually got translated into Jupiter.
 
The original lighthouse was to have been built 2 miles north of Fort Jupiter in the early 1830’s to be used as an aid for coastal navigation and to bring supplies to the Fort, however the project was abandoned because of the Second Seminole War.  Congress, finally in 1853, authorized the building of a new lighthouse and in 1854 the new (and present) site was selected.   But construction was not easy.  It had been slowed by shifting sands and a Third Seminole War and then it became non-operational for a period of time.  Rebel partisans disabled the lens so that the light could not function and it did not for over a year.  As time passed the lens was restored and the Lighthouse was finally relighted in July 1860 on the eve of the Civil War.
 
During the war a Captain James Armour helped guide the Union soldiers who found and retrieved the missing lens and put the light back into service.  And he served the next 42 years as the lighthouse keeper.  Amour also helped the Union Navy capture Confederate blockade runners heading from Jupiter and the Indian River Inlet to Nassau.
 
Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse is 108 feet tall with a focal plane of 146 feet – focal plane is how far the light is visible out in the ocean.  The Coast Guard indicates the height from “mean high tide to the focal plane” is 146 feet.  Thanks to the lighthouses elevation it may be seen about 20 miles or more at sea by low riding boats.  Aircraft and taller boats will see it much sooner.  The elevation is thanks to the Native Americans who had created a mound of shells on which the Lighthouse stands. 
 
More interesting facts about the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse can be found in the book “Florida’s Fabulous Lighthouses” where I found the excerpts above.  The book can be purchased from Carol Douget, Convention Chairman.  Contact her at
cldcpa@yahoo.com.

Even though there is the scare of the VIRUS going around, you should still be thinking of getting your ribbon(s) for this convention early, before May 31, 2020, while they are still $35.00 for the weekend.  Let Carol Douget or Linda Reid, registration chairman, (
reid20@bellsouth.net) know if you or any of your clubs would like registration forms.

 

Judy Anderson

Publicity

67th FLORIDA STATE SQUARE & ROUND DANCE CONVENTION – “Lighting the Way to Friendship & Fun in 2021”
February 19-20, 2021  
www.FloridaSquareDance.com

 

LIGHTHOUSE #1
CAPE CANAVERAL AT CAPE CANAVERAL

 

     Since the theme for the next convention is “Lighting the Way for Friendship and Fun in 2021” and their logo is a Lighthouse, I decided to write about the many lighthouses around the State of Florida, there are some 50+ all around the perimeter.  I will be starting at Cape Canaveral heading south, around the Keys and back up the other side and, of course, there  are quite a few around the shoreline of the Panhandle.  Then jumping across the state from Pensacola Lighthouse to Amelia Island and down to Ponce de Leon Lighthouse ending in Daytona Beach.

     In the 1600’s Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon gave the area the name of Caba de las Corrientes (Cape of Currents) which became Canaveral but was renamed Cape Kennedy after our President was assassinated in 1963.  Some people did not like the change.  In 1973 the name of Cape Canaveral was restored by an act of the Florida legislature.
 
     The first lighthouse was erected in 1848, 3 years after we became a State but prior to the Civil War.   The first lighthouse was too short and not bright enough, only 60 feet tall.  Boats couldn’t see the light until they were already wrecked on the Southeast Shoals.  In 1850 the lighthouse was shut down because of the warring Seminoles.  In 1868 a new lighthouse was built and was 151 feet tall which made it tall enough for mariners to see the light.  This new light stood for 26 years until erosion threatened it and it was moved to its present site where it remains today.
 
     In July of 1853, Captain Mills Burham was appointed the lighthouse keeper where he served for 33 years.  After his death in 1886, his wife Mary and his oldest daughter were the lighthouse keepers until sometime into the 20th century.   The lighthouse is now owned by the U.S. Air Force.   It is maintained by the Coast Guard, as all lighthouses are. 
 
     The Convention is just starting to roll along and is gaining momentum.  If you purchase your ribbons by May 31st, the price is $35.00 for the weekend.  Our registration chairman, Linda Reid, reminds you to make checks to “67th F S D C” and mail to 1062 Old Millpond Road, Melbourne, FL 32940.
 
     Excerpts from the above article are from “Florida’s Fabulous Lighthouses”.  This book can be purchased from Carol Douget, Chairman of this Convention.   It is one of the “money maker projects”.  Send inquires to her at
cldcpa@yahoo.com.

 

Judy Anderson

Publicity


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