I can not tell you how many times I have been on I-95 headed south into Miami and have passed signs for this small beach town. It wasn't until I started doing research for my Florida 365 blog that I came across this park. Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum is such a cute place. Not only will you find a beautifully restored lighthouse built in 1860, standing tall at 108 feet and keeping watch over the Jupiter Inlet, you will also find the Lighthouse Keepers Workshop, a WWII Naval housing building that has been converted into an interactive museum and the George Washington Tindall pioneer home.
Ok, so I may have just realized that I might be more of a history, lighthouse buff than the rest of my family. I was so excited to check this lighthouse off my list, but my 2 teenagers were not, neither was my hubby. The good news is that I had my Mom and Dad in tow as well, and they were excited to see it because I was excited. The tours start at the WWII Naval building and are guided tours only. The grounds of this park are wonderful, the Navel building sits on the inlet next to a draw bridge and the lighthouse sits in a park light setting with a beautiful brick paver walkway guiding you past several out building. The lighthouse sits atop a 48 foot tall hill once thought to be an Indian shell mound but in recent times is has been discover that this hill is a natural parabolic sand dune.
Tindall Pioneer Homestead
The first stop on your guided tour is the Tindall Pioneer Homestead, this area is set up as it would have been years ago. This home is the earliest home still existing in the Jupiter area. Built in 1892, and home to George Washington Tindall and Mary Pilcher Tindall including 8 of their 10 children. This home was fully restored back to its original "cracker-style" architecture. On the grounds of this home you will also find a fern shed, as this was a growing industry in Jupiter during the turn of the century. Crops and fruit trees surround the home including bananas, guava, citrus, pineapple and agave, in the cooler months you will find vegetables in the raised planters. On your way down the path to the lighthouse be sure to check out the Seminole Chickee.
We ended our trip to the lighthouse by heading back to the gift shop & museum. The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Museum occupies the last remaining building from World War II. The U.S. Navy constructed the building in 1939, it was called a U.S. Naval Supplementary Radio Station, code named "Station J". This building was used to locate the German submarines torpedoing ships off the Florida coastline. The building also served as a navigational beacon for military ships for communication during the war. Station J was closed in 1945, and in 1958 most of the World War II military structures were demolished. This War World II building is now home to the museum. I have been to many museums in the past and this one is by far one of the best. The museum has several rooms with amazing information and historic pieces. Many interpretative displays and things for kids to explore. My group was very excited for the AC.