Alligator Reef Light

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Alligator Reef Light
Alligator Reef lighthouse, date unknown
Alligator Reef Light is located in Florida
Alligator Reef Light
Location 3.5 nautical miles; 6.4 kilometres (4 mi) east of Indian Key, near the Matecumbe Keys
Coordinates 24°51′6″N 80°37′6″W / 24.85167°N 80.61833°W / 24.85167; -80.61833Coordinates: 24°51′6″N 80°37′6″W / 24.85167°N 80.61833°W / 24.85167; -80.61833
Year first lit 1873
Automated 1963
Foundation iron piles
Construction iron skeleton framework enclosing stair cylinder and square dwelling;
Tower shape White octagonal pyramid on black skeleton tower.
Height 136 feet (41 m) above water
Original lens first order bivalve Fresnel lens
Range White 16 nautical miles (30 km; 18 mi), Red 13 nautical miles (24 km; 15 mi)
Characteristic Flashing (4) White 60s (2Red sectors) 0.2s fl 9.8s ec. 0.2s fl 9.8s ec. 0.2s fl 9.8s ec. 0.2s fl 29.8s ec. Red from 23° to 249° and 047° to 068°.

"G" (Golf)

Alligator Reef Light
NRHP Reference # 11000860
Added to NRHP December 1, 2011

Alligator Reef Light is located 4 nautical miles (7.4 km; 4.6 mi) east of Indian Key, near the Matecumbe Keys of Florida in the United States, north of Alligator Reef itself. The station was established in 1873. It was automated in 1963 and was last operational in July, 2014, and is being replaced by a 16' steel structure with a less powerful light located adjacent to it. The structure is an iron-pile skeleton with a platform. The light is 136 feet (41 m) above the water. It is a white octagonal pyramid skeleton framework on black pile foundation, enclosing a square dwelling and a stair-cylinder. The lantern is black. The original lens was a first order bivalve Fresnel lens. The light characteristic of the original light was: flashing white and red, every third flash red, from SW by W 1/2 W through southward to NE 1/8 E, and from NE by E 3/4 E through northward to SW 3/8 S; flashing red throughout the intervening sectors; interval between flashes 5 seconds. It has a nominal range of 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi) in the white sectors and 11 nautical miles (20 km; 13 mi) in the red sectors. The new light will have a range of approximately 7 nautical miles (13 km; 8.1 mi).

It is listed as number 980 in the USCG light lists.[1][2]

Historical information[edit]

View of sealife beneath Alligator Reef Light. 2006

The name honors the U.S. Navy schooner Alligator, part of the U. S. Navy Anti-Piracy Squadron that had recently been established in Key West, which went aground at this location in 1822. The Alligator was blown up after removing as much as possible from it to prevent it from being used by pirates. Countless vessels have also sunk here on the reef's jagged coral. This lighthouse cost $185,000 to build at that time. To support the tower, a 2,000 lb (900 kg) hammer was used to drive the 12" (300 mm) iron pilings ten feet (3 m) into the coral.


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