Key West Lighthouse

Key West Art & Historical Society

Key West Lighthouse
Inside Key West Lighthouse

Location: WHITEHEADS POINT
Station Established: 1825
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1895
Operational? NO
Automated: ?
Deactivated: 1969
Foundation Materials: NATURAL EMPLACED
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape / Markings / Pattern: White tower and black lantern,; detached white dwelling with green blinds.
Height: 90-1/2 feet
Relationship to Other Structure: Separate
Original Lens: Third Order, Fresnel, 1847
Characteristic: Fixed white from N. 1/4 W. through to NE 5/8 E., from NE. by E. 13/16 E. through westward to SE. 3/8 E. and from SE 1/8 S. through northward and eastward to NW. 1/4 N., fixed red throughout the intervening sectors.
Fog Horn: None

Historical Information:

  • The original light was built in 1825. Construction was approved and would have started in 1824, but the boat carrying Samuel B. Lincoln sunk while on route to Florida from Boston. Original plans were for the light to be built on one of the keys of the coast of Florida, but it was realized that these islands were completely submerged at times. Because of this the first tower was built on the most southern point of Key West. This did not prevent the tower from being destroyed by a hurricane in October of 1846. The hurricane inundated Key West with five feet of water and destroyed all but 8 of the 600 houses in Key West. This was before hurricanes were named – but it became known as the Great Hurricane of 1846. The storm crossed over Cuba, Key West up through Georgia, the Carolinas and into the Chesapeake Bay causing a great deal of destruction along the way.
  • The current Key West Light was built in 1847
  • In 1886 the original keeper dwelling was torn down and the current building were built.
  • In 1989 the Light was deactivated.
  • In 1992 Monroe County acquired the light.
  • In 1998 the station was nominated as a National Historic Landmark.

Keepers:

Michael Mabrity (1826-1832)
Barbara Mabrity (1832-1864)
Henry Benners (Assistant Keeper 1842-unknown)

Historical Content provided by www.uscg.mil