Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, access to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is limited to essential personnel. Tours of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and other visitor locations have been suspended. You can visit the 45 Space Wing COVID-19 information page for additional information.
Polishing the Brass
With the advent of the Space Age and the incredible advances in technology that has accompanied these past few years, it is most difficult to imagine the painstaking labor and meticulous attention to time, weather and survival required of the men and women living “the dream” at the lighthouse in 1868. The life of the lightkeeper was demanding in every way. I imagine some smoky residue after a night of burning kerosene in a lantern with a wick that needed to be trimmed so as not to emit the smoke, allowing it to burn brightly behind the 1st Order Fresnel lens that projected its beam far out to sea. The next morning would be met by wiping the crystals and polishing the brass.
Perhaps the above image is not historically accurate, but it conjures up the idea of hard work and getting ready for what comes next; and that is not fantasy. Hence, “polishing the brass” is what we are about as we celebrate the conclusion of the museum development phase and move into its management routine. New tours, a new gift shop, new regular operating hours, new artifacts and displays — all with the goal of enhancing the visitor’s experience at the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse complex.
Our first Operations Planning Workshop for 2020 was held in January and, as expected, it generated numerous ideas for improvement in both organization and processes. Some have already been implemented, such as establishing “regular hours of operation” for public tours so that our volunteers can anticipate, and thus, schedule their time with less uncertainty. Others are in place and functioning; e.g., the new Finance Committee’s work to build the 2020 budget; and the new Governance Committee’s efforts to define parameters in creating policies on issues of safety, security, and accessibility. In keeping with the theme of work being done by your Foundation Board of Directors, Advisors, Committee members and the many other volunteers, this issue will also share some of the activities and people who make our jobs fun and purposeful!
On a final note, I ask each of you to join me in thanking the many 2020 Annual Sponsors featured on page 5 of the newsletter who have donated so generously to the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation, sharing our vision of a fully restored grounds with the additional Keeper’s Cottages and educational programs that will bring our history alive to all who visit.
See you at the light!
The latest edition of the Canaveral Beacon is available now. It includes a picture and an article about the Cape Canaveral 1st Order Fresnel lens on display at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. Also included is an article about our Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Museum from the Museum Director, Becky Zingarelli. And read about the appreciation luncheon for the museum development and gift shop working team.
In the Community Outreach section, read about the Florida Key Lime Pie Festival held on January 18th at the Veterans Memorial Center, and the first school tour with the museum on January 22nd.
This month’s Volunteer Spotlight features Bob Davis. Meet Bob and read about his lighthouse experience in the March newsletter.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center offers a “Cape Canaveral’s Rise to Space Tour.” Check the Upcoming Events section for details.
You and your family can be part of the lighthouse restoration. Order your engraved brick and join in the history of the lighthouse. You can use the form in the newsletter to order your brick using traditional mail, or go to the Keepers’ Walkway page and order your brick online.
Check out some of the upcoming events for the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation and the Florida Lighthouse Association. For information on upcoming Florida Lighthouse Association events, visit Florida Lighthouse Association.
You can view the newsletter at:
Canaveral Lighthouse Tours is now conducting weekly excursions in small groups to tour the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and historic spaceflight launch complexes. Tours are offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month.
You can read a little about Shelley and Gerry Parker, owners of Cape Canaveral Tours in this month’s newsletter. The tours are an excellent opportunity to see the progress being made in the Keepers’ Cottage construction.
Plan and book your lighthouse tour today at Canaveral Lighthouse Tours, or call 321-307-2900 to make your reservations.
Are you or your organization interested in being a Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation sponsor? You can find more information on our Lighthouse Foundation Sponsorship page. It includes a sponsorship letter from Foundation President Jim Underwood, and the Annual Sponsorship Form with more details on sponsorship levels.
On October 10th, 2017 the Brevard County Commissioners approved the Tourism Development Council recommendation to fund $500,000.00 for construction of the first Keeper’s Cottage for the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. Restoration of the Keeper’s Cottages has been a fundamental goal of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation since its establishment in 2002.
A Few Words about the Florida Lighthouse Association (FLA)
Former President, Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation
The Florida Lighthouse Association is a nonprofit group of citizen activists dedicated to the preservation of the 30 remaining historic lighthouses that line our state’s 1,350-mile coastline. Once central to the economic growth and settlement of our nation, many of Florida’s lighthouses face uncertain futures. We encourage members of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation to support FLA by joining and attending meetings. For details check out the website at www.floridalighthouses.org . FLA grants have helped us toward our goals of restoring our Canaveral Lighthouse community as it once was. Recently FLA awarded us a grant of $6,000 for the rental of a trailer to be placed at the lighthouse to house our gift shop and display our Brick Project. We ask you to show your appreciation by joining FLA today!