PONCE DE LEON INLET LIGHTHOUSE
Mouth of Halifax River
North of Ponce de Leon Inlet
In the early 1800's the Ponce de Leon Inlet, joining the Halifax River to the north and Indian River North to the south, made marine travel through the narrow channel and crossing the shallow bar on their way to the harbor at New Smyrna very hazardous. The many wrecks occurring along the beach proved the necessity for a lighthouse.
In 1830, local planters and ship captains petitioned Congress for a lighthouse at the inlet and engineers drew up plans for such a structure. This first lighthouse damaged considerably by weather, fell into the sea a year after completion in 1835.
In 1883 the U.S. government bought 10 acres of a land grant for the construction of a lighthouse. After four years of hard labor and many delays, in 1887, the 168' red lighthouse between Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach was completed and lighted.
The tower rests on a brick foundation 45' wide and 12' deep. The base is 32' in diameter and tapers upward.
The federal government discontinued use of the Ponce de Leon Light in 1970 and built a more modern light at the New Smyrna Beach Coast Guard station south of the inlet.
In 1982, the U.S. Coast Guard activated the lighthouse and placed it once again on the Coast Guard's Light list, primarily because the construction of high rises in New Smyrna Beach obscured the beacon there.
The Ponce de Leon Lighthouse Museum has lenses, equipment, local history articles, marine art, ship models and other nautical items.
LIGHTHOUSE - 168' / OPEN - Daily: 10a.m. - 5p.m. / MUSEUM - Yes / FEE - Yes