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Photographer's Note

The St. Johns River is Florida’s longest, snaking over 310 miles from the swamps of central Florida to the Atlantic Ocean. The total drop of the river from its source to its mouth is less than 30 feet, or about an inch per mile, making it one of the “laziest” rivers in the world. Another of the river’s unique features is that it flows north, one of just a few rivers in the United States that does.
This interesting river attracted settlers early on, and for a time, each group would bestow a new name on the river. The Timucuan Indians called it Welaka, meaning river of lakes. The French named it Riviere di Mai, River of May, since they arrived on May 1. The Spanish have called it Rio de Corrientes (River of Currents) and San Mateo, but it was finally renamed Rio de San Juan, after the mission San Juan del Puerto was established near the mouth of the river in 1850. The name Rio de San Juan was later Anglicized to St. John’s and then St. Johns. St. Johns River continues to be a vital waterway with huge Naval ships entering the river bound for Naval Station Mayport, and cargo containers heading farther upstream to Jacksonville, Florida’s second largest port.
The lighthouse had been in operation for just over two years, when the Civil War broke out. Unlike many southern lighthouses, the St. Johns River Light operated during a good portion of the war, until a Confederate sympathizer shot out the light in 1864. The lighthouse remained inactive for the remainder of the war, and was finally outfitted with a new Fresnel lens and relit in 1867.
The lighthouse is on the Mayport Naval Base and has limited access. The best photos are from across the St. Johns River or through the fence from the fishing village of Mayport.

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Additional Photos by Asa Jernigan (asajernigan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3599 W: 88 N: 5553] (21427)
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