It is said that in 1513 (almost 100 years prior to the failed Jamestown experiment), Juan Ponce DeLeon was exploring the land and waters around the inlet that today bears his name.
By the time Spain ceded Florida to the newish United States, live oak lumbering (that premier ship planking that created the legend of “old Ironsides”) was the main industry.
|Replacing a lighthouse on the New Smyrna side of the inlet, the present landmark went into service in 1887 and was the only navigational aid between St. Augustine and Cape Canaveral.The soaring red tower is 188 feet 6 1/2 inches high (the second tallest in the United States) and can be seen 19 miles at sea.
Shut down by budget constraints in 1970 the mammoth tower was saved from ruin by the non-profit Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc.
The Association manages the restored light along with the museum, theater, and store and all are open to the public.
In 1963, the Town of Ponce Inlet was incorporated in a manager / council format to control the destiny of the fragile peninsula tip.
Volusia County manages the beaches, access to them, and the park itself.
Around the peninsula tip and along the Halifax River there are marinas, restaurants, charter fishing boats, that all add a little excitement to this beautiful piece of land.
Community dedication and pride is nowhere more apparent than in the handsome Ponce Inlet Community Center.
Run by trustees and volunteers, the center hosts governmental, civic and private activities.
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Museum