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Secrets of Florida's Lighthouses

Florida archaeologist and historian, Brendan Burke is coming to Vero Beach to explore the stories of Florida's lighthouses in a free presentation at The Emerson Center at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 11. Burke, Associate Director of Archaeology with the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, will appear as part of the venue's popular Florida Humanities Series.

Florida's lighthouses, the silent sentinels watching over Florida's 1,300 miles of coastline, have witnessed so much since they began service five centuries ago. Burke will relate how shifting sandbars, reef-strewn shallows, hurricanes, earthquakes, even military attacks have challenged Florida's important aids-to-navigation. He will explain how the Sunshine State’s lighthouses have been a source or curiosity, folklore, and refuge. In addition, he will relate the history of Florida’s lighthouses and recall stories from our legacy of lighting the coast.

The Florida Humanities Series is presented by The Emerson Center at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Vero Beach. Six acclaimed speakers and performers will appear at the Center through March 2019, with all presentations relating to Florida history, people, and culture. Admission to each Thursday night event is free and all performances begin at 7 p.m.

Looking ahead at the Humanities Series' upcoming speakers, their topics, and performance dates: historian David Schmidt will address “The Legacy of FDR's Works Progress Administration” on November 8, 2018; the Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society will perform “Christmas and All That Jazz” on December 13, 2018; astronomy professor Jon Bell will take us “Under the Florida Skies” on January 10, 2019; Master Chief Rick Kaiser will go behind-the-scenes with “The Navy Seal Museum: History Unfolds On Our Beach” on February 7, 2019: and historian Peggy Macdonald will speak on “Florida's First Ladies” on March 14, 2019.

This series is sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council ( with funds from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs. Marine Bank and Trust Company provides additional funding.

The capacity of the Emerson Center is more than 800. Free admission will be offered on a first-come first-served basis. The Emerson Center is handicap accessible and is conveniently located at 1590 27th Avenue, on the SE corner of 16th Street and 27th Avenue in Vero Beach. For more information, contact the Emerson box office at 772-778-5249.

(photo: Brendan Burke)

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