Port St. Joe awarded Cape San Blas Lighthouse

Published: Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 11:12 AM.

The Historical Society began working to restore the lighthouse and grounds some 22 years ago.

Over the years, the organization has secured more than $800,000 in grant funding to restore one of two keepers’ quarters – the other had been renovated by the U.S. Air Force – and to provide lead abatement for the tower, to facilitate visitors climbing the tower.

The Society established and operated a gift shop on the grounds and was the liaison in a lease agreement between the BOCC and the U.S. Air Force on a lease for the lighthouse and grounds.

“We at the St. Joseph Bay Historical Society are elated that the city’s application was accepted,” said Historical Society president Charlotte Pierce. “We are excited, look forward to it and are honored at the trust placed in us to preserve this piece of our heritage and history.”

The Historical Society has been on a fundraising campaign since summer to secure funding for relocation of the lighthouse and associated buildings.

An estimated $300,000 will be needed for the relocation but fundraising efforts have been complicated by the competing interest and application from the BOCC.

“When you realize that we started all this back in 1990, it has been a learning experience,” Pierce said. “We asked for volunteers but we decided that we were just going to have to put our shoulder to the wheel and get it done.

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