Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse

Return to Exhibits

The views of the Atlantic Ocean flowing into the Jupiter Inlet and then splitting into the Indian and Loxahatchee Rivers to the north and west have been noted as the one of the best views in the county. Northward views command the idyllic Outstanding Natural Area and Indian River. Southern views display Jupiter’s rhythmic maritime community with boats of all shapes and sizes, the scent of outdoor restaurants and strains of tropical music letting you know it’s five o’clock somewhere.

One just has to place their hand on the warm brick gallery wall of the Lighthouse tower to feel its historic past and be transported back in time.

About the Lighthouse

The Lighthouse’s presence has played a vitally significant maritime and communications role since 1860, saving countless ships from wrecking along reefs and shoals between the Florida coast and the beautiful blue Gulf Stream. So hazardous was this area that Congress authorized the building of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse to guide ships away from it in 1853.

The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse grounds were one of six sites chosen in the state due to the recommendations of U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Surveyors. All six projects were assigned to a young Army Lieutenant named George Gordon Meade, who a few years later was the General that would defeat Robert E. Lee at the battle of Gettysburg. Lee was one the surveyors who traveled the Florida coastlines looking for good inlets, harbors and sites for future lighthouses. The original design for the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse was drawn by Meade but the final design adding height, watchroom portholes and a double wall construction was refined by Lieutenant William Raynolds. The construction of the tower was completed by Captain Edward Yorke in May of 1860.

Want to learn more?
Lighthouse Facts and Timeline
Lighthouse History

The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the federally designated Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area in the National Conservation Lands, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Interior.

The Lighthouse is an Active Aid to Navigation and the optics are owned by the US Coast Guard. The Loxahatchee River Historical Society, a nonprofit 501(c)3, oversees operations and tours of the 1860 Lighthouse and grounds and raises funds to care for the historic structures and grounds as a partner in the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area.