Since the early 1800s, the Amelia Island Lighthouse has provided a beacon for vessels, and a history lesson for those far and wide.
Today, it sits dark.
“While they were cleaning it, one of the bullseyes fell loose and fell into the lens,” Nan Voit, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Fernandina Beach, said.
It’s not just any old lens. It's a Fresnel lens, which is imported from France. This one in particular was put in back in 1903. Voit says the race is on to get it back up and running.
In the old days, whale oil was housed here and taken to the top to light the way for ships. 🐋 pic.twitter.com/QBLOIz9t1T— Erica Bennett (@EricaANjax) March 22, 2017
“The United States Coast Guard is hiring a lampist to come out and look and see what needs to be done to repair the light,” Voit said.
Voit says people from around the world come to watch it's nightly illumination. For all those reasons and more, they want it fixed.
“It’s part of our heritage and it's really important to our community that we get our light back circling around," Voit said. "The U.S. Coast Guard says it's getting quotes to get the lens fixed and at this time -- don't have a timeline on when repairs will be made."
This lighthouse is not only important to Fernandina Beach, but the nation. It's the oldest, still operating lighthouse in Florida. pic.twitter.com/ck9hXJFJPJ— Erica Bennett (@EricaANjax) March 22, 2017