Photographer: Roy B. Westin

Sanibel Island 

Sanibel, FL

Built: 1884

Construction: Steel, Square Tower, Cylindrical Center Section

Status: Active 

Height: 90 feet 

Location: Point Ybel, East end of Sanibel Island FL 

Access: From Downtown Fort Meyers, follow FL867 for 14.5 miles to San Carlos Bay. Continue 4.0 miles along the San Carlos Causeway to the intersection at Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island (4-way stop). Turn left traveling 4.8 miles to East end of the island. Signs will lead you to the Lighthouse.



The still active lighthouse has the Keeper's dwelling now being used as offices for the local national Wildlife Refuge. 

Lighthouse History: The Sanibel Island Light was constructed in 1884. This steel structure has a spiral staircase, inside the cylindrical center structure, leading up to it's now automated beacon. In 1833 the Secretary of Treasury was first petitioned for a lighthouse on Sanibel Island. The petition was rejected and brought to life again in 1850's, 1878 and finally accepted in 1881. Congress approved $20,000 adding another $30,000 one year later. The land to be used belonged to the State of Florida and was ceded by Florida Governor Bioxham to the Federal Government in 1883.

In 1884, the foundation was constructed within three months. The superstructure of the tower was constructed in New Jersey and being delivered to the site on a schooner during that time. Two miles from her final destination, the schooner was shipwrecked and sank. The construction crew worked to recover all but a few brackets from the wreckage. Construction resumed with the lighthouse being completed in August of 1884.

Fitted with a third-order lens, the light was first lit on August 20, 1884. The lens used was initially intended for the Anclote Keys lighthouse. In 1949, the light was automated and transferred to the U.S. Department of Interior.  


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