Digest>Archives> April 2010

The Lighthouse at Sumter Landing

By Tom Spade


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The Lighthouse at Sumter Landing in The Villages, ...

In Central Florida, miles and miles from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, there stands a Lighthouse on a small lake that guides the residents of a large retirement community safely to their homes.

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The Villages Lighthouse Club monthly meeting with ...

Standing over 67 feet tall, this skeleton style lighthouse houses a flashing beacon mounted on a two foot pipe and housed in a hollow metal frame with clear laminated safety glass. Based on the structure of various Florida lighthouses, this design has proven popular due to its ability to withstand the high winds associated with tropical storms and hurricanes. The lighthouse even remained standing through a very destructive tornado three years ago.

The Villages is currently home to over 70,000 residents, spread out over three counties covering 25,000 acres. Lake Sumter and the Lake Sumter Lighthouse is surrounded by the Arnold Palmer championship golf course, a Sumter Landing center with retail and wholesale business establishments and homes of various sizes and styles.

The Villages, when completed will be composed of 3 small towns, 59 Neighborhoods, 91 Recreation Centers, 69 Swimming Pools, 47 Golf Courses and 84 miles of Golf Cart, Bicycling and Walking Trails. Over 100 golf cart accessible restaurants are available. Residents use an estimated 40,000 golf carts to travel back and forth.

While the Lake Sumter Lighthouse flashes continually at night, “rotating” every 3 seconds, the surrounding boardwalk is constantly filled with pedestrian traffic coming and going. Boat rides are offered for a different close-up view of the lighthouse.

Adjacent to the lighthouse is the Lighthouse Point Bar & Grill whose manager is a native of Massachusetts. Maureen says that the lighthouse reminds her of “coastal New England.”

The Villages Lighthouse Club, with over 60 members, was formed to help preserve and protect lighthouses across our country. The funds collected from various fund-raising efforts are used to contribute to various lighthouse improvement projects from coast to coast. Recently, donations were made to the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation, the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association and the American Lighthouse Foundation. They are also a satellite member of the Florida Lighthouse Association.

In addition, the club presents a yearly subscription of the Lighthouse Digest to the local Villages Charter High School in an attempt to motivate younger citizens to learn and appreciate our country’s lighthouse history.

And it certainly is true for their residents. The lighthouse at their waterfront village reminds them every day of the historical importance of our nation’s historic lighthouses.

This story appeared in the April 2010 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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