Amelia Island Lighthouse . Amelia Island . Florida . Watercolor . 12" x 9"
...Amelia Island hugs the coast and is the northern most barrier island of Florida, marking the spot where St. Mary's River empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The light tower, the oldest in Florida... was originally built in 1838 on Cumberland Island, land that is now a part of Georgia, but was the southern most tip of the United States at the time, since the Spanish still owned Florida. In 1821 Spain ceded Florida to the United States. In 1838, changes in the flow of the St. Mary's channel, necessitated a need to dismantle the Cumberland Light, move it and rebuild it further out on the coast... on Amelia Island. At that time its height was increased to 64 feet and it was now sited four miles south of the St. Mary's River discharge... and soon... it too was considered useless at that location. Subsequently, range lights and a beacon were deployed along the coast to augment the Amelia Island Light's effectiveness. Three successive keeper's houses have come and gone and only the US Coast Guard now occupies a small office building at the facility. The Amelia Island Lighthouse was eventually declared surplus and ownership transferred to the Fernandina Beach Community in 2001.