“Lighthouse Ladies” Beverly Mount Douds and Mary Alice Cullifer were remembered at a reception hosted by the St. Joseph Historical Society on June 16 at the Cape San Blas Lighthouse Complex. Many family members and friends were welcomed to the reception by St. Joseph Historical Society President Charlotte Pierce. The invocation was given by Society member, Mazie Stone.
Paula Boone, Society Parliamentarian and longtime friend of Beverly Mount Douds, remembered Beverly’s love of the lighthouse and how she had worked tirelessly to promote and share the history of lighthouses. Boone also noted Beverly’s passion for genealogy and her ability to locate ancestors with amazing speed and accuracy. A plaque, recognizing Douds’ contributions to the lighthouse while serving as the first gift shop employee and history curator, has been placed in the lighthouse. Copies of the plaque were given to her children.
Dawn Radford, an area writer and mentor to Douds, read a tribute recognizing Beverly’s uncanny ability to gather information and write a book in record time. Copies of the poem were provided to Ms. Douds’ family.
Linda Wood, Society Secretary and Operations Director of the lighthouse complex, shared about Mary Alice Cullifer’s love of lighthouses through paintings. Cullifer was a resident of Lynn Haven and a well-known artist in the area. Her love of lighthouses and the history and charm they brought to lighthouse enthusiasts led her to paint the “Florida Lighthouse Collection.” The Cullifer Family has lent this collection to the St. Joseph Historical Society and it is on display in the gift shop for guests to enjoy. A certificate of appreciation was presented to the Cullifer Family for their generosity.
Mel Magidson, Jr., Historical Society member, announced the kickoff of the “Reassemble the Lens” Campaign. The St. Joseph Historical Society is undertaking an ambitious project to raise $75,000. This will provide for the reassembling of the lens, establishment of a Maritime Museum with displays for the lens, relics from the lighthouse and keepers’ quarters, and items from the Cape San Blas U.S. Coast Guard Station. The museum will also include an interactive exhibit featuring the maritime history of our area.
A designated fund has been established at Capital City Bank in Port St. Joe for this project. Because the St. Joseph Historical Society is a 501 (c) 3 organization, contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Magidson extended an invitation to participate by contributing to the St. Joseph Historical Society, P. O. Box 231, Port St. Joe, FL 32457, or stopping by the gift shop any Thursday through Saturday between the hours of 11 A.M. and 6 P.M at 200 Miss Zola’s Drive.
Toni Collins, US Lighthouse Society Passport Ambassador, attended the reception and presented the Society with her personal contribution, which was the first contribution to the project.