27 Nov 1999
Amelia Island Lighthouse..just Historic-or-Tourist Attraction?
There is a debate taking place over the future of Florida's earliest surviving lighthouse on Amelia Island. There are no plans to shut down the beacon, but the federal government, the lighthouse owners, wants to deed the property to someone who would pay to maintain the area surrounding the tower, which overlooks Fort Clinch State Park on the edge of Egans Creek.
City officials and people hoping to start a museum talked last week with representatives of the U.S. General Services Administration, the agency that will dispose of the land.
The idea of public access is drawing support from lighthouse enthusiasts, but people living nearby say they appreciate the structure's past but want to protect the quality of their neighborhood.and some urged government agencies to move slowly and keep residents in mind.
The Amelia Island Lighthouse was built in 1838 near the mouth of the St. Marys River. It was there when Florida was a Spanish province.
Excerpts from an AP Article published in the Orlando Sentinel, November 26, 1999 as shown on Orlandosentinel.com