Jupiter Light, Florida
Uncle Ed continued his career in the Coast Guard he had
been with the combined Light House Service and Coast Guard for thirteen years.
After his tour ended in Alaska he transferred. Ed felt that he needed to go somewhere warm so he went to Florida as a Lighthouse
Chief for the Jupiter
Inlet Lighthouse Coast Guard Station. The Lighthouse was located in Palm County
Florida just north of Palm Beach. The history
of the lighthouse goes back to the mid 19th century when a lighthouse was needed to mark a dangerous shoal off "Point" Jupiter.
The Florida Lighthouse Board in 1852 recommended that a lighthouse be built near
Jupiter Inlet to make the lower coast safer for ships and help mariners avoid
the dangerous shoal offshore where the Loxahatchee River flows to the Atlantic
Ocean. The original appropriation to build the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse in 1853 was $325,000.
In 1853 the lighthouse site chosen was part of the Fort
Jupiter reservation established during the First Seminole War in 1836. George G.
Meade, the Union general who defeated General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of
the tower. The main difficulty in building the lighthouse
was the shutting of the inlet by silt in 1854, which forced workers to send 500
tons of construction materials down the Indian River in shallow boats. The Third
Seminole War suspended work at the site from 1856 to 1858 and resulted in
constructing the keeper's house of thick coquina walls and an inside well so
keeper's could withstand an Indian siege. Heat, insects, and moisture hampered
the construction of the lighthouse. When construction was finally completed
the light was first lit in July 1860. At a total cost of $60, 859.98, a large sum of money in those days. The light was turned off between 1861 and 1866 by Confederate sympathizers during
the Civil War. The U.S. government established a
life-saving station near the lighthouse in 1886 to rescue people in distress at
sea. The conical tower was left a natural brick color for
the first 50 years, but dampness discolored the
brick to such an extent that it was painted red around 1910. In
1928 engineers substituted electricity for the old mineral oil lamps and
cumbersome weights and installed a diesel generator in case of power failure. In
the same year a hurricane struck the tower, smashed one of the bull's-eyes, and
disabled the emergency diesel generator. The keeper had to reinstall the old
mineral lamps and turn the light by hand. During the hurricane, the tower swayed
17 inches from the vertical. The damaged bull's-eye was sent to Charleston to be
reassembled and held together with a band of brass. Also in 1928 a hurricane blew out one of the bulls-eye lenses, which was later reconstructed and reinstalled.
Unique in the history of United States lighthouse stations, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse has
had all five branches of the U.S. Military garrisoned there.
The focal plane height of the First Order Fresnel lens,
manufactured in Paris by Henry-LePaute, is 146 feet and the light can be seen at sea level from between 16 and 24 miles. From a passing aircraft the light is visible for approximately 40 to 50 miles.
The lighthouse is stated to be the oldest existing structure in Palm County, Florida and it is still operated as an active aid to navigation. Uncle Ed was stationed at Jupiter Light from 1947 to 1948. After Jupiter Light Uncle Ed went back to New England.
For more on Jupiter Inlet
Light House click here.
USCGT MANITOU (WYT-60)
After three years in Florida, Uncle Ed returned to the 2nd coast guard district and took orders on the USCGT Manitou as the Tug Chief.
This is where the family remembers him the most when he would take his tug up
the Hudson and Connecticut rivers and break the Ice there as well as help any
ships in distress and tug services. The Manitou was first commissioned in 1943
and was used extensively in the Coast Guard It was decommissioned in 1980 but it
still serves on for a private company in the Great Lakes. Uncle Ed remained in the New England area on the Connecticut and Hudson rivers until his retirement on June 18, 1955, after twenty-one years of service with the USLHS and Coast Guard. He retired back to New Bedford, MA and often visited the family in Bethel, CT. They family loved Uncle Ed he was a good Uncle and we all have very fond and warm memories
of him. He had his favorite red and black Mercury that he loved to drive and the family remembers so well.
He attended my wedding in 1989 and he always told me that a career in the service was
the best thing he ever did. When I went into the Navy he was very happy for me
and told me that I was making the right choice in life. I miss him as does the
rest of the family. Uncle Ed spent his last years at the Brockton Veterans Hospital in Brockton Massachusetts, he passed away on September 6, 1998, he was 91.
For more photos Click below to view Uncle Ed's Scrapbook of his Entire Career
Uncle Eddie's Coast Guard Scrapbook