It’s National Lighthouse Day!
Did you know that there is a National Lighthouse Day? It’s celebrated on August 7th each year, and is rooted in a 1789 Act of Congress. Although the St. George Island Lighthouse isn’t quite that old, it’s still a part of this important past.
On August 7, 1789, Congress passed an Act that provided for the establishment and support of lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and public piers. These help commerce and navigation, but also help improve public enjoyment of the nation’s waterways and coasts.
National Lighthouse Day was officially designated in 1989, recognizing the 200th anniversary of the signing of the 1789 Act and of the first Federal lighthouse being commissioned.
The original 1789 Act read:
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
That all expenses which shall accrue from and after the fifteenth day of August one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, in the necessary support, maintenance and repairs of all lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers erected, placed, or sunk before the passing of this act, at the entrance of, or within any bay, inlet, harbor, or port of the United States, for rendering the navigation thereof easy and safe, shall be defrayed out of the treasury of the United States: Provided nevertheless, That none of the said expenses shall continue to be so defrayed by the United States, after the expiration of one year from the day aforesaid, unless such lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers, shall in the mean time be ceded to and vested in the United States, by the state or states respectively in which the same may be, together with the lands and tenements thereunto belonging, and together with the jurisdiction of the same.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That a lighthouse shall be erected near the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay, at such place, when ceded to the United States in manner aforesaid, as the President of the United States shall direct.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to provide by contracts, which shall be approved by the President of the United States, for building a lighthouse near the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay, and for rebuilding when necessary, and keeping in good repair, the lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and public piers in the several States, and for furnishing the same with all necessary supplies; and also to agree for the salaries, wages, or hire of the person or persons appointed by the President, for the superintendence and care of the same.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That all pilots in the bays, inlets, rivers, harbors and ports of the United States, shall continue to be regulated in conformity with the existing laws of the States respectively wherein such pilots may be, or with such laws as the States may respectively hereafter enact for the purpose, until further legislative provision shall be made by Congress. Approved: August 7, 1789
Origins of National Lighthouse Day:
Although we love and cherish our local lighthouses the Cape St. George Light and the Crooked River Lighthouse, National Lighthouse Day originated much farther north – in Rhode Island, in fact. There, Senator John H. Chafee sponsored a joint resolution in Congress on April 28, 1988, to designate August 7, 1989 as “National Lighthouse Day,” proclaiming that the resolution “Designates August 7, 1989, as National Lighthouse Day and calls for lighthouse grounds, where feasible, to be open to the public.” The resolution passed quickly, emerging from the Senate on July 26, 1988, and coming through Congress (sponsored by Rep. William J. Hughes, New Jersey) on October 21. Two weeks later, on November 5, 1988, President Ronald Reagan applied his “John Hancock,” and the Bill became law. The first National Lighthouse Day was observed on the 200th Anniversary of the original act, August 7, 1989.
In Recognition of National Lighthouse Day – Hon. William J. Hughes
HON. WILLIAM J. HUGHES
in the House of Representatives
WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 1989
Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call attention to a special occasion which communities all across America will be celebrating next week. August 7, 1989, marks the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Lighthouse Act and the commissioning of the first Federal lighthouse in the United States.
In honor of those events, I was proud to sponsor a resolution last year which designated August 7, 1989, as National Lighthouse Day. The celebration next week will provide some long overdue recognition for the important role which lighthouses played in the history of our country, and the values of safety, heroism, and American ingenuity which they represent. At the same time, I am hopeful that it will encourage communities and citizens groups around the country to rededicate themselves to the protection and restoration of these historic structures.
As America continues its technological progress into the 21st century, it becomes easy to forget the wholesomeness and serenity of preindustrial establishments such as lighthouses. The history they provide gives us the opportunity to step back in time and learn more about our country. The contributions they made to our society, from protecting our coasts to guiding our sailors, should continue to be appreciated and remembered.
I am proud to point out that there are three restored lighthouses in my congressional district in southern New Jersey. These three, the Cape May Point lighthouse, the Finns Point lighthouse, and the Hereford Inlet lighthouse, contribute greatly to New Jersey’s beautiful coastline.
The Cape May Point lighthouse, which was first lit on October 31, 1859, was reopened to the public in 1988 after being closed for 50 years. Today, with restoration virtually complete, its light once again shines bright, giving comfort to seamen nearly 19 miles into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Hereford Inlet lighthouse was built in 1874 and is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture. Under restoration since 1982, it continues to provide North Wildwood with a valuable monument to Cape May County’s maritime history.
Last, the Finns Point lighthouse, located in Pennsville, is a 113-year-old marvel. It served as an aid to navigation along the Delaware River from 1877 until 1950, when the river channel was enlarged and deepened.
Unfortunately, not every lighthouse is as lucky as these to have been adopted by a local citizens group or community. Many have fallen into disrepair and desperately need support. For this reason, I have been pleased to join with other Members of Congress in sponsoring legislation to establish the National Bicentennial Lighthouse Fund in order to provide Federal assistance for local lighthouse restoration efforts.
Mr. Speaker, the National Lighthouse Day celebration on August 7, 1989, will indeed be a special event. I hope it further rejuvenates the spirit of these maritime institutions and the impressive restoration efforts which are now taking place in the many communities. It is important that future generations have the opportunity to learn more about and appreciate the unique role which lighthouses played in helping to build our great Nation. I hope that everyone will join me in supporting this effort in the months and years ahead. —
However, the National Lighthouse Day designation was, it turns out, only official for that one anniversary in 1989. Although lighthouses and lighthouse lovers around the country celebrate annually, Congress has yet to permanently designate August 7th as a recurring date to observe the importance of what the Lighthouse Foundation refers to as “America’s lighthouse heritage.”
In 2013, twenty-four years after the 1989 observation, a Senate Resolution passed that made August 7, 2013 “National Lighthouse and Lighthouse Preservation Day,” but again this was only a single-year designation. As the Lighthouse Foundation notes, “Over the past couple of decades, lighthouse leaders from around the country have worked tirelessly to convince Congress to permanently designate August 7 as National Lighthouse Day on America’s calendar, and though unsuccessful to date, those noble efforts continue. However, even without official recognition from Congress, the nationwide lighthouse community continues to ‘keep the flame of our rich lighthouse heritage burning bright. Each year, August 7 is celebrated as National Lighthouse Day, with lighthouse groups offering the general public a host of fun-learning activities to enjoy – including tours, cruises and presentations that pay special tribute to America’s lighthouses and their grand history.”
Here on St. George Island, we’re lucky to have a magnificent lighthouse to see and love every day of the year, and dedicated folks to protect and preserve it even without official Congressional designation. It’s a beacon for the Island, a piece of Apalachicola Bay history preserved for everyone to enjoy, and easily the best view around. So come on out next time you’re down, stop by the Lighthouse museum, and admire the majesty of the Cape St. George Light.
Winter at the beach brings a quiet serenity that’s perfectly suited to the introspection of a New Year’s resolution, the reawakening of the early spring, even the romance of Valentine’s Day.
No matter what you’re celebrating, you won’t find a more perfect place to toast the sunset – or the sunrise (hey, we don’t judge) – than St. George Island on Florida’s Forgotten Coast.
I can certainly recommend a few places to find a quiet place with a view of the Gulf, but honestly you’d have a harder time finding a place that doesn’t sparkle with coastal magic.
- Up the Stairs in Apalachicola, an upscale, quiet dining location to get away from the bustling crowds (21+ only).
- Gormley’s at the Gibson, set in the Historic Gibson Inn in downtown Apalachicola.
- Apalachicola Ice Company, where you can enjoy a beer and some live music in the courtyard
- Bowery Station, complete with outdoor beer garden and live music.
Of course, these are just a few of your options. All along Highway 98 – otherwise known as the Big Bend Scenic Byway Coastal Trail – you’ll find a string of quaint, small towns that feel like you’ve stepped back in time to old Florida: from Port St. Joe to St. George Island, Apalachicola and Carrabelle. Each one offers its own unique selection of bars and restaurants that are peppered with patios, balconies, verandas, terraces and decks perfect for you to behold the sunset, the surf or just the people walking by.
And if you really want to get away from the crowds, grab a bottle of bubbly and settle in somewhere cozy on St. George Island. You can drink a toast to new beginnings with someone you love. Our selection of rental homes is rife with decks and patios ideal for reflecting on all that the new year holds in the glint of a perfectly blush-colored sunset set to the melodies of rolling waves. Cheers!
When Halloween is on a weekend, it’s often observed on that day alone. But when it happens to fall on a weekday, it’s only proper form to celebrate the whole weekend leading up to the spookiest day of the year. This year, Halloween falls on a Tuesday, meaning this year is one we celebrate Halloweekend! That just leaves the question of how to spend it!
Just across the bay in Apalachicola are three different options to make your Halloweekend so much fun it’s frightening! All of these events are happening Saturday, October 28—it’s just up to you to decide!
A non-traditional way to celebrate Halloweekend is with the award-winning Autos and Oysters Auto Show in Apalachicola. Prizes are given to Top 50, Best of Show, Club Participation, and Sponsor’s Choice, but a category our guests might win is Greatest Distance Traveled. If you want to vie for that prize, head over to Riverfront Park between 9 AM and noon with your $20 registration fee. For those who just want to peruse the cruisers, admission is free, and the show is open to the public from 10 AM to 4 PM.
If you’d rather celebrate with a quiet night in, look no further than your own home away from home. You can craft something truly wonderful in the fully equipped Resort Vacation Properties kitchens, and many of our properties have DVD players so you can watch a scary (or not so scary!) movie. The Apalachicola Farmers Market is a great place to pick up fresh, local produce and seafood for a yummy dinner. Stop by to meet our local farmers, fishermen, and artisans at the Millpond Pavilion Market Street every second and fourth Saturday from 9 AM till 1 PM!
If you’re a fan of a more ghastly Halloween celebration, Apalach has you covered, too. Saturday evening from 6:30 to 8:30, the Apalachicola Area Historical Society hosts its biannual Ghostwalk in the Chestnut Street Cemetery. Wander through history as locals regale the stories that make the Forgotten Coast so unique, all while dressed in creepy cool attire from the time period. All proceeds go to the preservation of this historic cemetery.
However you choose to celebrate, it’s sure to be an epic Halloweekend on the Forgotten Coast! Ask one of our friendly team members for further insight to what you can get up to while you’re here this fall!
There’s nothing quite like celebrating the Fourth of July at the beach. The hot dogs, cold beers, and all around good times we associate with America’s birthday are accompanied by the red of the sunset, the white of the sand, and the blue of the ocean. Apalachicola Bay residents love the holiday so much we celebrate for two days! Here are our favorite ways to spend Independence Day:
If you’re like us and can’t wait for the Fourth, head across the Bay to Apalachicola for the 6th Annual Independence Eve celebration on July 3! The party kicks off at 5 P.M. at Downtown’s Riverfront Park with food, beverages, a parade, and kids’ activities while musical guests Johnny and the Loveseats, featuring Voice contestant Johnny Hayes, rock out on the main stage. The evening finishes with a bang as a fireworks show illuminates the beautiful Apalachicola River.
For the holiday itself, there’s no better place to be than St. George Island! The annual parade welcomes anyone (including visitors!) with a costume or decorated vehicles and encourages all to join in the fun with water guns. Get your golf cart decorated, your trailers hooked up, and your squirt guns filled!
The St. George Island 4th of July Parade will start at 10:00 am in front of The Beach Pit on W. Pine Ave.
The route will proceed east down Pine Avenue, passing Paddy’s Raw Bar and turning right (south) on 3rd St. East. It will turn right again on E. Gulf Beach Drive to head west and complete the route! Line-up starts at 9:30, with roll-out at 10:00 am sharp. Be safe and we’ll see you there!
Later in the day is the fireworks show, lighting up the sky and reflecting vibrant sparkles of color upon the water and sand. Our favorite spot to watch the show is from the deck at Blue Parrot Oceanfront Cafe where you can enhance the fireworks with a yummy seafood dinner, specialty cocktails, and live music.
And if you’d rather spend the Fourth of July celebrating America’s natural splendor, look no further than Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park—the go-to spot for kayaking, fishing, and swimming in the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The park closes at sundown, so you have all day to play in the sun, sand, and surf!
Check out our available listings for a home-away-from-home to retreat to once the Fourth of July festivities have ended! Our vacation rentals selection is accessible here.
Few things are as American as apple pie, making it the quintessential dessert for your Fourth of July celebration. But who wants to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else plays outside in the surf and sand?
That’s where this Rustic Apple Tart recipe comes in. It has all the flavor of the iconic American classic with a fraction of the fuss, meaning you’re out of the kitchen and into those waves before you can say, “Give me liberty or give me death!”
Serve warm, or at room temperature, with your favorite vanilla, cinnamon, or caramel ice cream. Pro tip: it pairs perfectly with fireworks!
Rustic Apple Tart
1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith or Golden Delicious (or a mix of both), peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 refrigerated pie crust (1/2 package)
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup apricot preserves or apple jelly, melted with 1 tablespoon water.
- Allow pie crust to come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss apples, sugar, and optional cinnamon.
- Roll or stretch crust to slightly larger than in the package, to about 14
inches. Place crust on parchment paper on a pie pan.
- Arrange apple slices in a an overlapping spiral in the middle of the pie
crust, leaving about three inches of crust all around. Fold crust edges,
covering the outside edges of apples. Brush crust with beaten egg and
sprinkle with sugar. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Bake tart at 400 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes, until apples are tender
and golden. Cover edges of crust with strips of foil, if necessary, to
prevent burning, near the end of bake time.
- Brush apples with melted preserves. Cool and serve.
Memorial Day Weekend is the official start of summer, and what better way to celebrate than with a beach vacation? The long weekend means extra beach time, and you’ll beat the higher temperatures sure to come later in the season. Here are three of our picks for some perfect properties to spend your holiday weekend!
The modern masterpiece of Beach Ball offers unparalleled views of the Gulf with its panoramic windows overlooking the emerald waters. St. George Island’s famous pristine white sands are just a quick stroll away down a private boardwalk, and if you need an indoor break to cool off, the game room is stocked with ping-pong, air hockey, and a dartboard. Entertaining for the holiday is a breeze, too, with a grill, screened-in porch, and balcony!
Plantation Palace, offering a Mediterranean twist on the traditional St. George Island architecture, can host up to 20 overnight guests; however, it can accommodate up to 40 for daytime events, making it an ideal destination for a Memorial Day shindig. The private pool sits on a second floor balcony, offering unmatched views of not only the Gulf but also the sugary dunes leading up to the water. The two grills and fully upgraded kitchen make feeding your guests a breeze, and the elevator means no hauling suitcases up staircases!
If you’d rather skip the party and keep to yourself for the long weekend, check out Sea Song. This budget-friendly option sleeps 6 and boasts plenty of windows as well as a porch to enjoy the endless views of the waters of the Gulf. There’s a grill to get into the spirit of the holidays, and don’t forget Fido—this property is pet friendly!
Regardless of where you’re staying, be sure to swing by The Blue Parrot to kick off the summer with music, local seafood, ice-cold beer, and frozen drinks! For more info on what we have to offer you for the long weekend when it comes to home away from homes, give us a call today at 877-272-8206!
Although we’re now well past the official beginning of Spring, in many minds, the true marker of the spring season is Easter. As well it should be—Easter is a holiday of resurrection. And what better way to time a beach trip than the season of rebirth. When nature wakes from her slumber, and the beaches come alive with wildlife and the bounty of the sea. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself for Easter on St. George Island, keep in mind that treasures from the Gulf. With their natural, subtle, and sometimes rugged beauty, they lend themselves for use in Easter décor and new traditions. Here are our tips for a beach-approved holiday!
Sand Dollar Theme:
One of the best decorations from the sea are sand dollars, which bear uniquely Christian symbolism. On the top of a sand dollar is a clearly visible star, which represents the Star of Bethlehem, while the opposite side shows the outline of an Easter lily. At the edges of the star are four holes, representing the wounds Jesus suffered while being nailed to the cross, and in the center is another hole, which represents the sword wound to his side. Lastly, when a sand dollar is broken open, five “doves” emerge – the doves of the peace. All of this imagery makes them the perfect addition to your Easter décor! Try scattering them down the center of your dinner table, especially on top of a pastel table runner.
Sky Blue Colors:
To continue the oceanic theme in your tablescape, incorporate the colors of the season and of the beach. Hints of sea and sky blue bring the outdoors in, as do lime green Easter grass or air ferns, and woven, natural-colored grass placemats that resemble sea grass subtly continue the theme. An easy centerpiece can be made by placing a pillar candle in a clear bowl and filling the rest with sand and treasures from seashell hunting. Or, line an Easter basket with raffia or neutral Easter grass and fill with beautiful natural seashells or sand dollars.
Easter Shell Hunt:
A fun way to “beach up” your Easter is to ditch the eggs and have an Easter shell hunt instead. Hide shells for children to search, with a large sand dollar as the prize-winning find. Instead of baskets, use sand buckets lined with Easter grass. And, if you can’t bear to part with eggs completely, paint a fish scale design or your favorite ocean creatures, like seahorses, starfish, or crabs, on traditionally dyed eggs.
Whether you’re so Irish you have Guinness pumping through your veins or you just love a good brew, St. Patrick’s Day at Paddy’s Raw Bar is exactly where you need to be this year on St. George Island. All things Irish come to 240 E. 3rd Street in Eastpoint on March 17th!
Paddy’s goes totally green for St. Patty’s! Green cups, four-leaf clover décor, Irish music and—of course—green beer! Beginning at 11am, the Emerald Isle takes over St. George Island. Paddy’s will serve up the island countryman’s corned beef and cabbage with Irish music going full force from 2pm to 6pm. Live music will pour from an incredible lineup right along with the chartreuse-hued beers ALL DAY LONG. Let the luck o’ the Irish right into your soul at Paddy’s this St. Patty’s Day!
You’ll find good food, great folks, and the greenest celebration the Island’s ever seen on Friday, March 17th, 2017! Have a raucous good time on gorgeous St. George’s most happening hangout until the clock strikes midnight!
Erin Go Braugh, baby! Have a shucking good time at Paddy’s Raw Bar this St. Patrick’s Day!
Check out our available beach and bayside rentals NOW so you can feel like you’ve found your own personal pot o’ gold when it comes to comfy living quarters just down the street from the Paddy’s party! For more info about the place to be for St. Patrick’s Day, visit the Paddy’s Facebook page here.