Florida Lighthouse Association, Inc.

Preserving, Restoring, Protecting & Defending Florida's Lighthouse Towers
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  • Cape San Blas Fall 2021 Membership Event

Cape San Blas Fall 2021 Membership Event

  • 12 Nov 2021
  • 13 Nov 2021
  • Cape San Blas
  • 4


  • No charge
  • Join us virtually for the Saturday Membership Event





NOVEMBER 12-13, 2021


Join us at the Florida Lighthouse Association’s (FLA) annual membership event at the Cape San Blas Lighthouse (CSB) and explore firsthand the unique history and architecture of this beautiful sentinel while celebrating FLA’s 25th anniversary.  FLA was founded in 1996 for the purpose of creating awareness of Florida’s 29 remaining historic lighthouses, the peril in which they exist, and the heroic efforts of citizen activists to protect, preserve, and restore these treasures.  What better location to celebrate than at CSB, located on the beautiful shores of St. Joseph Bay in Port St. Joe, Florida!  Members have the option of attending this event in person or virtually via Zoom. 

Did you know that….

  • The CSB is a real “mover and shaker” among Florida’s 29 remaining lighthouses.  Since 1848, four lighthouses, the first three of them brick, have marked the southern part of Florida’s Cape San Blas.  Because of hurricanes and sea encroachment, the towers have either collapsed and been rebuilt or moved further inland for protection. 
  • ·       The Cape’s first lighthouse was ahead of its time, having been constructed using recycled materials from the St. Joseph’s Bay Lighthouse, which was dismantled after trade in the bay diminished, and $8,000 appropriated by Congress.
  • ·       For over four years after the end of the Civil War, the keeper was forced to live in the Lighthouse’s cramped watch-room.  This was how long it took Congress to provide funds to rebuild the dwelling that was burned during the War.
  • ·       During the Spanish-American War, the Lighthouse keeper’s family and their visitors were witnesses to a battle between gunrunners taking guns to Cuba and the U. S. Navy.  They hid behind the huge sand dunes that once were prevalent on the Cape.
  • ·       Assistant Keeper Ernest Marler was murdered in 1938 at the Lighthouse.  Some believe it was someone wanting his job, for which he was paid $440 a year plus room and board; others believe he was killed by local moonshiners or as a revenge killing for his testimony a few days earlier in a trial against some thieves.  The death of Ernest Marler was never solved.
  • ·       The Coast Guard, which had taken over lighthouse operations in 1942, reported the German U-boat sinking of the British oil tanker HMS Empire Mica just 17 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • A family camping near the Lighthouse began to see “eyes” winking at them through the woods.  Thinking that it was a bear, they tried to shoot it, not knowing that it was the beacon from the Lighthouse.
  • ·       The current Lighthouse, completed in 1885, is based on an iron-skeleton design capable of withstanding hurricane winds.  It is put together in such a way that it can be taken apart and reassembled elsewhere whenever threatened by the Gulf’s bulldozer-like tides.
  • ·       The current Lighthouse, along with two dwellings and an oil house were transported for 12 miles on a slow-moving convoy in 2014 from the Gulf (only 50 feet from the water’s edge!) to the City of Port St. Joe and reopened to the public in the same year.
  • ·       Since moving to Port St. Joe, the Lighthouse has become a popular destination for marriage proposals. 

In addition to the Lighthouse, the small town of Port St. Joe, formerly a bustling port along North Florida’s Emerald Coast, is worth checking out.  It has a compact, easily walkable downtown of gift and antique shops, bistros, vest-pocket parks, wide greenways, and an inviting waterfront marina.  You can also find some of the nation’s most luscious seafood.


The events will begin on Friday, November 12, at the Centennial Building, 300 Allen Memorial Way, Port St. Joe, Florida, with committee meetings at 4:00 p.m., EST, and the Board meeting at 5:00 p.m., EST.  Immediately following at 6:00 pm, EST, will be a social.  Hors d’oeuvres, soda, beer, and wine will be provided.   The Centennial Building, on the U. S. National Register of Historic Places, was dedicated in 1938 to mark the 100th anniversary of the nearby location in Port St. Joe where the Constitution of the State of Florida was signed in 1838. The building was designed by Hughell Crockett and built in the Art Deco architectural style

Centennial Building Parking:  There are a limited number of paved parking spaces (including handicap) in the front and on both sides of the Centennial Building and grassy areas across from and in back of the Centennial Building.

NOTE:  If you plan to climb CSB on Friday before the social, please be aware that it closes at 5 p.m., EST.  The Lighthouse also closes on Saturday at 5 p.m., EST.  The Lighthouse staff has invited the attendees to climb for free on Friday and Saturday.

On Saturday, the membership meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m., EST, at the Centennial Building, which is 1.6 miles from the Lighthouse.  FLA will provide coffee, water, and doughnuts. At 12 noon, EST, we will enjoy a BBQ lunch catered by Paul Gant’s Bar-B-Que Restaurant, a Port St. Joe favorite.  It will consist of Boston Butt BBQ on a bun and chicken, cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, peach cobbler, and sweet and unsweetened iced tea.  Attendees will be offered as a special treat the opportunity to climb the Lighthouse in the evening.

FLA’s Josh Liller will sign his books that you bring to the social and meeting.  Josh is the editor of The Florida Lighthouse Trail, second edition, a newly-published compilation of Florida lighthouse histories. Also, Josh is the co-author of the revised edition of 5000 Years on the Loxahatchee, a pictorial history of Jupiter and Tequesta, Florida, originally published 15 years ago

After lunch, we will drive to the Lighthouse, located in nearby George Core Park, Port St. Joe, where we can climb the 131 steps to the top.  The Lighthouse, two keepers dwellings, and an oil house will be open for climbing and visiting all afternoon on Saturday.  Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop located in one of the two keepers dwellings. 

Cape San Blas Parking:  There are about eight (8) parking spaces on the Cape San Blas Lighthouse property and about fifty (50) spaces across the street.

Registration Fees

Registration and payment must be received by October 27.  Registration is limited to the first 72 persons.  Please specify any dietary restrictions when you register.

Friday/Saturday (weekend) Fee:  Includes the Friday night social, the Saturday membership meeting, lunch, the lighthouse climb on Saturday, and a donation to the St. Joseph Historical Society

Friday ONLY: These fees include the Friday night social and a donation to the St. Joseph Historical Society

Saturday ONLY: These fees include the Saturday membership meeting, lunch, the lighthouse day climb on Saturday, and a donation to the St. Joseph Historical Society

FLA Member

1.  Member Friday/Saturday fee  $99 + $5 evening climb fee = $104

2.  Member Friday/Saturday fee $99

3.  Member Saturday Only fee $75 + $5 evening climb fee = $80

4.  Member Saturday Only fee $75 

5.  Member Friday Only fee $55

New FLA Member

1.  New Member Friday/Saturday fee (includes one year FLA individual membership) $129 + plus $5 evening climb fee = $134

2.  New Member Friday/Saturday fee (includes one year FLA individual membership) $129

3   New Member Saturday Only fee (includes one year FLA individual membership) $105 + plus $5 evening climb fee = $110

4.   New Member Saturday Only fee (includes one year FLA individual membership) $105

5.  New Member Friday Only (includes one year FLA individual membership) fee $85

Child Under 15


1.  Child Under 15 fee $50 plus $5 evening climb fee $55

2.  Child Under 15 fee $50


Members and non-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 everyone,

CSB staff encourages attendees to wear masks.  Please bring your own mask, while on the Lighthouse grounds, particularly in the gift shop. Only six (6) attendees are allowed in the gift shop at the same time.  CSB is allowing no more than twelve (12) attendees to climb the Lighthouse at one time.  Attendees are asked to practice social distancing whenever possible by maintaining a minimum six-foot separation from others.  When social distancing is not possible, please restrict group sizes to ten (10) people or less.

Attendees are strongly encouraged to wear masks during the social and meeting (except while drinking and eating) at the Centennial Building.  Attendees are encouraged to supply their own hand-sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, if desired.


Friday and Saturday:  ALL lighthouse attire—Show your LOVE for lighthouses and celebrate FLA’s 25th anniversary.

 Recommended Hotels

Apalachicola Bay Inn, Apalachicola

Room Rate $105 - (MUST CALL THE HOTEL DIRECT AND REQUEST SPECIAL FLA RATE)  Two (2) Queen Beds with pullout Queen sofa & $105 One King Bed with pullout Queen sofa

240 US Highway 98 West

Apalachicola, Florida 32320

(850) 653-9435

Cut-Off date:  Monday, October 11, 2021

Apalachicola Bay Inn is 22.5 miles from the Lighthouse and 21 miles from the meeting venue, Centennial Building, Port St. Joe.

MainStay Suites/Port St. Joe

Room Rates $149 - (MUST CALL THE HOTEL DIRECT AND REQUEST SPECIAL FLA RATE) : One Queen Bed suite with pullout sofa; One Queen Bed (no pullout sofa); One Queen Bed Handicap Suite;  and One King Bed suite

Includes Continental Breakfast

3951 East Highway 98

Port St. Joe, Florida 32456

(850) 229-6246

Cut-off date:  Friday, October 15, 2021

MainStay Suites is 3.7 miles from the Lighthouse and 2.4 miles from the meeting venue, Centennial Building, Port St. Joe.

Port Inn/ Port St. Joe

Room Rates $178.49 - $212.49, No Elevator (MUST CALL THE HOTEL DIRECT AND REQUEST SPECIAL FLA RATE): First Floor – $212.49 One King Bed with porch, $212.49 One King Bed, $178.49 One Queen Bed; AND Second Floor - $203.99 One King Bed, $178.49 One Queen Bed

Includes Free Continental Breakfast

501 Monument Avenue

Port St. Joe, Florida 32456 

(850) 387-2279

Cut-off date:  Monday, October 11, 2021

Port Inn is 0.6 miles from the Lighthouse and 1.7 miles from the meeting venue, Centennial Building, Port St. Joe.

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