DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
SUPPORT PRESERVATION OF CAPE CANAVERAL LIGHTHOUSE
WITH $6,695 GRANT
Barbara Moser, Regent of the Philip Perry Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented a DAR Historic Preservation Grant Award to Brig. General Anthony Cotton, Commander of the 45th Space Wing and RADM Bob Merrilees, President of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation (CCLF) on May 9.
The grant is for the purpose of repairing rusted window surrounds and broken windows at the historic Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. Also attending the event were Lt. Col. Jimmy Sayres, Commander of Detachment 1, the CCLF Board of Directors and CCLF volunteers. The work will begin in June. The grant of $6,695 was received through the sponsorship of Philip Perry Chapter NSDAR located in Cocoa, Florida. The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution annually presents over $200,000.00 in grants to give financial support to projects in local communities throughout the United States that exemplify the mission of the NSDAR to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. The historic significance of this lighthouse is recognized and supported through this grant by the NSDAR. The DAR receives hundreds of grant applications each year, making competition for the funding through the non-profit organization high. With nearly 170,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. For information on how 501© (3) groups can apply visit DAR Grants or a local DAR chapter.
With the establishment of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in 1949, the lighthouse became inaccessible to the public. The lighthouse was transferred to the Air Force from the Coast Guard on December 14, 2000. In 2002, the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation was established and the then commander of the 45th Space Wing, Brig. General Pettit, signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation to establish a relationship between the two to preserve the lighthouse and its history. The purpose of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation is to assist the 45th Space Wing in preserving, protecting, and interpreting the lighthouse and its historical significance to the Florida Space Coast, State of Florida and our Nation. Since then, the Foundation has been instrumental in opening the lighthouse to the public, restoring the site and presenting its historical significance to visitors.
At present, the Air Force provides a bus tour two days a week to transport visitors to the lighthouse. Last year over 3,100 people visited the lighthouse on these tours.
The original lighthouse on Cape Canaveral was built in 1848 and stood at 65 feet tall, much too small to provide mariners with adequate warning of the shoals off shore. The current 151 tall iron structure replaced the earlier lighthouse in 1868. Its greater height and first order Fresnel lens allowed mariners to see the warning light up to 22 miles out to sea. Today the lighthouse is still functioning with a warning signal created by two search-light lanterns which automatically light at sundown and go off at sunrise. It is the only lighthouse in the nation owned by the US Air Force.
The Lighthouse Foundation plans to rebuild the three Keepers Cottages on the lighthouse grounds that will be used as an educational center for children to learn about the early settlers and pioneers, the rich history of the Cape history, the story of the lighthouse and its keepers; a center for archeological displays and a lighthouse gift shop.
The brick walkways that once linked the lighthouse with the Keeper’s Cottages are being bricked in a historically accurate manner and the public can be part of this exciting project. More information about supporting the Foundation can be found at our Membership page, and at the Keeper’s Walkway page. Those wishing to sign up for a tour may contact the Patrick Air Force Public Affairs Office at 321-494-5945 or visit Patrick AFB.