Lighthouse Memories

Family Picnics at the Lighthouse “Old Site” – Yvonne Patrick Thornton

During the 1940’s I remember picnics at the Lighthouse’s “Old Site” near the ocean at an abandoned Coast Guard Station, with a watchtower from World War 11 on the beach. My Uncle Clinton “Buddy” Honeywell, Jr. would drive his 1938 Chevrolet taking his mother, Gertrude Wilson Honeywell, my Mom, Florence Honeywell Patrick, my sister Vell Dean, brother James and me for Sunday afternoon picnics at the Cape. We’d have fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans and iced tea. We’d stop to pick up Aunt “Toy” (Florence Quarterman), who always had delicious home-baked hot cinnamon raisin buns waiting for us to devour.

We’d walk through the sea oats and sea grape bushes to the ocean. The beach wasn’t very wide and was not level, but slanted down to the water’s edge. As the waves rolled in, they would create a ditch, which we’d walk through to get to the level ocean bottom. VeIl Dean and I would body surf or ride the waves in rubber inner tubes. What fun! Then we’d rinse off in the artesian well with water that smelled like rotten eggs! There was a water tower or cistern beside the well. We walked on the bolts of the “Old Site” foundation, (see photo) spreading our arms to balance ourselves.

We’d visit Captain Swain’s family at the lighthouse, then climb the spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse. The wind was always blowing briskly way up there! What a beautiful view of the ocean and surrounding area! Vell Dean and I would climb up and down two or three times. Wish I had that much energy today! Little did we know that the lighthouse would one day be a backdrop for rockets that would send men to the moon.

Article provided courtesy of the Central Brevard Mosquito Beaters,  Memory Book 2010, available at the Florida Historical Library, 435 Brevard Av., Cocoa Village.

Facebookby feather
Facebookby feather
%d bloggers like this: