Historic Markers Across Florida

Cape Canaveral Lighthouse

Marker ID: FLHM F-628
Location: On Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Air Force Station is not open to public traffic. -- See note
County: Brevard
Coordinates: N 28° 27.582    W 080° 32.555
  28.4597    -80.54258333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


On May 21, 1838, Florida territorial delegate Charles Downing requested a lighthouse be built on Cape Canaveral. The first lighthouse completed in Jan. 1848 stood 65-feet tall, had a 55-foot tower and a 10-foot lantern room equipped with 15 lamps on 21-inch reflectors. The brick tower and keeper´s home cost under $13,300. Nathaniel Scobie oversaw construction and appointed the first keeper. With the advent of the Civil War, s. Mallory, confederate navy secretary, ordered Florida east coast lighthouses “extinguished.” keeper Mills Burnham removed the lamp and buried it in his orange grove. A state-of-the-art, 151-foot iron tower was erected in 1868 and topped with a 1st order Fresnel lens. The tower´s living quarters were used for storage and a weather station. In 1871 a storm surge washed over the lighthouse area spoiling lamp oil and drinking water. This and shoreline erosion caused the lighthouse to be moved. From Oct. 1893 to Jul. 1894 the tower was dismantled, moved by tram one mile inland and re-erected, along with a 1st and 2nd assistant´s and keeper´s homes, to its present location. In 1939 the coast guard took ownership. In 2000 stewardship was transferred to the 45th space wing, Patrick Air Force base.

Sponsors: The Brevard County Historical Commission, The Brevard County Tourist Development Council and the Florida Department of State


City: Cape Canaveral, FL

On Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Air Force Station is not open to public traffic. The most likely way to visit this marker is via the Kennedy Space Center bus tour from the visitor's center. You'll have to pay the general admission to the visitor's center. There is more than one bus tour available, be sure to take the bus tour for the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.