Reef Lighthouses Continued

Page 2
This page by Jerry Wilkinson

     The Sand Key Lighthouse lamp was lit on April 15, 1827, it and the Key West Harbor lighthouse were destroyed by the Hurricane of 1846. The Lightship Honey assumed its role until a new cast-iron screw pile lighthouse was constructed in July 1853.
   Click HERE to see the map again and then use the back arrow to return.

     New mineral oil lamps were added in 1889 and later a weather station (seen in the previous image) was built along side. The Hurricane of 1909 destroyed the weather station which was rebuilt only to be destroyed again by the Hurricane of 1910. The lighthouse was automated in 1941. A serious fire damaged the lighthouse in 1989, however it is being restored.
     Lit on March 10, 1826, the light from its 15 whale-oil lamps was reflected as a guiding beacon to mariners entering the harbor. It was also destroyed in 1846 and was back in operation in January 1848 inland and on higher ground. It was automated in 1915. This lighthouse and Keeper's house (a museum) are open to the public.
       Northwest Passage refers to a passage into the Key West harbor from the northwest (the Gulf and Florida Bay). It was lit March 5, 1855, a larger fourth-order lens installed in 1879, new kerosene lamps in 1882, automated in in 1913 and decommissioned on June 30, 1921. The wooden cabin burned in August 1971. Only pieces of the iron frame remain. 
     Rebecca Shoal was unusually difficult to build, unusual in design and the last lighthouse built in the Keys. Lt. G. Gordon Meade first surveyed the site in 1852, but the lantern was not lit until November 1886. The "cabin" was a three-story wooden structure with the lantern on its top. It was automated in 1925, the "cabin" removed in 1953 and presently has a solar powered rotating optic beam.
     Loggerhead Key, the Dry Tortugas Lighthouse, was lit July 1, 1858  automated in June 1987 and presently is under the care of the Coast Guard.
      Garden Key (Tortugas Harbor Lighthouse) lit on July 4, 1826. A cast iron frame lighthouse replaced the original tower in 1876 and the original tower was torn down in 1877.

      Two superb additional reading references are:
1) Lighthouse of the Florida Keys by Love Dean, Historic Florida Keys Foundation. Inc
2) Florida's Territorial Lighthouses 1821 - 1845 by Thomas W. Taylor, Thomas Taylor, POB 238014, Allandale, FL 32123-8014, 1995.
3) Lighthouses of the Dry Tortugas, by Niel Hurley, Historic Lighthouse Publishers, 1994
* Most of these images are from official US Coast Guard photos and the drawings are from the National Archives.

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