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A lighthouse rebuilt, in miniature

Some people like to behold wonderful things from afar, appreciating them from a distance.

Others like to grab hold of what they’re seeing, study the details, and then make one for themselves.

Port St. Joe’s Ed Creamer is just such a person.

The lighthouse scale model
A close-up of the lantern room

A lifelong native of Port St. Joe, growing up at Indian Pass since he was but six weeks old, Creamer lived about four miles from the Cape San Blas lighthouse.

“I’ve been seeing that lighthouse since I was born,” he said.

Retirement hasn’t stopped the 87-year-old from staying busy, and for the last couple months he’s been busy in his workshop paying tribute to his lifelong vision.

“Took me about two months, working five or six hours a day on it,” said Creamer. “I was so enthused time just flew by.”

About a week ago he finished it, a four-foot wooden scale model of the 98-foot, 135-year-old cast iron lighthouse, which is about to find its way to the museum at the lighthouse, which was relocated to Port St. Joe six years ago.

Bill Kennedy,  executive director of the Port St. Joe Redevelopment Agency, has come by and taken a look, and was impressed. “He asked to put it in there,” said Creamer.

The replica is made of pine, with the center walkway section constructed of PVC pipe. Creamer relied on photos of the real one and used it to guide his construction. “I took some pictures from the ground and that’s what I built it by,” he said.

The lantern room at the top of the replica is actually a candle holder that Creamer went to Hobby Lobby to fetch one.

“My son had one in his motor home, and when I saw that, I figured I could use it for the top of the lighthouse,” he said. “It’s the best I could get; it looks pretty much like that.”

Creamer ringed the perimeter of the lantern room with dowel pins, to recall the fencing in place there.

He’s lit it up with a simple bulb, but after his neighbor saw it, she ordered a pair of special dimming bulbs, powered by a 9-volt battery, that should arrive any day now.

Creamer’s handiwork comes after a career doing a host of different jobs, from running the Indian Pass Seafood Company, to working for Arizona Chemical, to selling insurance to building lawn furniture, to doing contractor inspections on houses for several banks, his last chunk of employment before retirement.

He hasn’t slowed down and in fact, there may be a slight delay before his replica makes it to the lighthouse museum.

“I’m building another one for a neighbor, so I’m keeping the original for a while longer to work by,” Creamer said.