Anclote Key lighthouse reopens after restoration

- Lighthouses are sometimes neglected pieces of Florida's history.

One group is on a mission to restore these treasures. Members of the Florida Lighthouse Association recently took a trip that was years in the making.

They visited the lighthouse at Anclote Key State Park.

"It's great," said Chris Belcher President of Florida Lighthouse Association. "I love to see lighthouses come open."

Neglect closed the lighthouse for years.

"It fell into very serious disrepair," said Dan Hogan President of Friends of Anclote Key State Park. "It was rusty. It was dangerous. It was covered in graffiti."  

So a group of Florida lighthouse enthusiasts got together in 2006 to save it. Betty Lowe Phelps a member of FLA says, "We have 30 Lighthouses that we're trying to protect and restore."

They organized the Florida Lighthouse Association. 

"We are a bunch of lighthouse nuts," said Belcher.

They are the first group to climb the Anclote Key lighthouse since it's been closed and, now, restored.  

A grant from the association makes lighthouse experiences possible for all visitors to see and experience.

"I do think it is important that people know the history," Phelps said.

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