During the war, the lighthouse keeper's house and wooden portion of it were burned. It remained dark until after the war when it returned to operation July 23, 1865 after repairs and a new lens was installed.
By 1869, the beach in front of it had mostly disappeared and a jetty proposed, but inadequately funded and nothing much came of it. The gulf continued to encroach until the base was in the water. On July 3, 1882, surf caused the foundation to give way and the tower toppled into the sea.
In 1883, $35,000 was granted for an iron skeleton lighthouse to be fabricated in the North, loaded on a ship and taken to the cape where it would be put together. Unfortunately, the ship carrying the parts sank off west Florida, but the tower salvaged. Its 3rd Order Fresnel lens was lit in June 1885. Between 1883 and 1885, a temporary light was placed on top of a tall pole to warn ships.
Now Working On the Fourth Lighthouse. --RoadDog