A fire of suspicious origin has destroyed the large pirate ship on the playground at Florida’s Crooked River Lighthouse.
The 30-foot structure was totally engulfed in flames by the time the fire department arrived. The flames were so high and hot that it melted the vinyl siding on a house that is 50-feet away. The pirate ship replica was valued at $100,000.
The Crooked River Lighthouse and the replica of the lighthouse keeper’s house, which is home to a museum, were not damaged by the fire.
The Crooked River Lighthouse was established in 1855 to replace the Dog Island Lighthouse that had been destroyed in 1873 by a hurricane. The lighthouse is also known as the Carrabelle Lighthouse. After automation, one of the two keeper’s homes was sold and moved to a new location two miles away and the other keeper’s house was deliberately burned in a fire.
In 2001 ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the City of Carrabelle and then leased to the Carrabelle Lighthouse Association. In 2009 a replica of the keeper’s house was completed and opened as a museum.
The bivalve lens from the Crooked River Lighthouse is now on display at the 8th District Headquarters of the Coast Guard in New Orleans, Louisiana. When the Carrabelle Lighthouse Association asked to have the lens returned to the lighthouse, the Coast Guard refused to relinquish the lens. In 2007 a replica of a Fresnel lens was installed and lighted in the tower.
This story appeared in the
Jul/Aug 2015 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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