The Gasparilla Island Lights are on Gasparilla Island in Boca Grande, Florida. The first Gasparilla Island lighthouse is on the south tip of Gasparilla Island, and marked the Boca Grande Pass entrance to Charlotte Harbor. It has also been known as the Boca Grande Light and the Port Boca Grande Light. The second Gasparilla Island light is one mile north of the first lighthouse. It has also been known as the Boca Grande Light and the Boca Grande Light Rear Range.
The Gasparilla Island Light originally served ships transporting cattle from ports on Charlotte Harbor to Cuba. Phosphate ore from the Peace River area became an important cargo in the 1890s, and an extension of the Seaboard Air Line Railway to Port Boca Grande in 1909 resulted in increased traffic. Ship traffic to Port Boca Grande peaked at more than 30 ships a month during World War II.
The Gasparilla Island Light was deactivated in 1966, and abandoned by the Coast Guard in 1969. The buildings quickly deteriorated, and by 1970 beach erosion had exposed the screw-piles supporting the building, with waves breaking under the building at high tide. A rock jetty was built to protect the lighthouse, and sand was pumped in to build up the beach. Lee County took title the lighthouse in 1972. On February 28, 1980, the lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings were restored in 1985-1986. In 1986 the light was re-lit and the station was put back into service.
The Gasparilla Island Light is now part of the Gasparilla Island State Park. The lighthouse houses the Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum. Hurricane Charley, which caused extensive damage around Charlotte Harbor in 2004, tore off the catwalk around the top of the lighthouse, damaged windows and destroyed two original redcedar cisterns. The museum reopened to the public a week later. Enough wood and hardware were found from the original cisterns to rebuild one of them, and the second was later replaced using new materials.
In 2006, the museum underwent extensive renovation. A paint specialist was able to retrieve a sample of an early paint color, and the interior was repainted. The floors were stripped of a dark varnish used in the original restoration, and were refinished with a clear varnish.
When the two lights, which flashed at different rates, lined up, the ships' navigators knew it was time to turn to enter Gasparilla Pass.