First Female Lighthouse Keeper in Florida A lighthouse is a tower that emits a flashing beam of light from a system of lamps and lenses. They mark dangerous coastlines, shoals, or reefs, and guide pilots at sea into safe harbors. In the 19th century, they were vital lifelines to maintaining safety at sea. Image: St. Augustine Lighthouse, home of Maria Mestre de los Dolores Andreu Built in 1700; aided mariners for 162 years. Image shows the various stages of the lighthouse structure. Photograph courtesy National Archives Backstory Don Juan Ponce de Leon discovered La Florida, the Land of Flowers, in 1513. Approximately fifty years later, Spain attempted to colonize Florida by dispatching Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles to the area….