For 118 years the Crooked River Lighthouse has stood as a beacon, guiding timber ships as well as local fishermen and oystermen through the treacherous pass between Dog and St. George Islands, along Florida's Panhandle. Built in 1895, this iron and steel structure replaced the lighthouse on Dog Island, which was destroyed by hurricane in 1873.
First lighthouse keeper's family
First lighthouse keeper's family close-up.
In 1995, the Crooked River Lighthouse was decommissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard which four years later, despite its inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, had plans to surplus the lighthouse and auction it off to the highest bidder. It was at this time that the Carrabelle Lighthouse Association (CLA) was formed by a dedicated group of local citizens with the goal of preserving, restoring, and opening the lighthouse to the public.
In August 2001 the CLA, in conjunction with the City of Carrabelle, was successful in having the Lighthouse deeded to the City through the Federal Lands to Parks program. Since that time the CLA and City officials have worked to obtain funding for the restoration of this historic treasure of Florida's "Forgotten Coast." The CLA's members are devoted to the worthy cause of restoring this small piece of maritime history. Through its efforts, the CLA has also received funds from the Florida Lighthouse Association, a Florida Communities Trust Land Grant, a Florida Communities Trust Restoration grant, and the Florida Legislature. These funds are being put toward restoration of the lighthouse and improvements to the land surrounding the lighthouse.
A timeline of the Crooked River Lighthouse, compiled by CLA Historian John Canetta, can be downloaded here in PDF format.
The Cultural Resource Assessment Survey completed in 2008 can be downloaded here in PDF format.
If you would like to help, please join the CLA today.