American Shoal Light
American Shoal lighthouse
|Location||east of the Saddlebunch Keys, close to Looe Key|
|Year first lit||1880|
|Tower shape||brown octagonal skeletal octagonal pyramid enclosing white stair cylinder and brown octagonal dwelling|
|Height||109 feet (33 m)|
|Original lens||First-order drum Fresnel lens|
|Current lens||Fourth-order Fresnel lens|
|Range||Red 10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi), White 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi)|
|Characteristic||Flashing white (3) 15s with red sectors|
|Racon||"Y" (– • – –)|
American Shoal Light
|NRHP Reference #||10001189|
|Added to NRHP||January 25, 2011|
The American Shoal Light is located east of the Saddlebunch Keys, just offshore from Sugarloaf Key, close to Looe Key, in Florida, USA. It was completed in 1880, and first lit on July 15, 1880. The structure was built to the same plan and dimensions as the Fowey Rocks lighthouse, completed in 1878.
American Shoal Light is cast iron, with a screw-pile foundation with a platform and a skeletal tower. The Light is 109 feet (33 m) above the water. The keeper's octagonal dwelling is on a platform 40 feet (12 m) above the water. The tower framework and dwelling are painted brown, while the enclosed circular stair to the lantern is painted white. The original lens was a first-order drum Fresnel lens, producing a flash every 5 seconds. The light was automated in 1963, and a fourth-order lens with solar-powered light was installed. The light has a nominal range of 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi) in the white sectors, and 10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi) in the red sectors.
American Shoal Light was built by a Trenton, New Jersey firm and took only 13 months to fabricate, ship, and erect on site. The site of the lighthouse was on the outermost reefs, and was covered with 4 feet (1.2 m) of water. The tower when completed cost about $94,000.
The lighthouse is listed as number 1015 in the U.S. Coast Guard light list.
In 1990, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 25 cent featuring the American Shoal Light.
Historical information from Coast Guard web site
- As early as 1851 plans were made for the erection of a series of great offshore lighthouses to mark the dangerous Florida Reefs. These towers, all of skeleton iron construction, to resist hurricanes, were eventually built one at a time over a period of years, that on American Shoal completed in 1880, being the most recently constructed.
- Light List, Volume III, Atlantic Coast, Little River, South Carolina to Econfina River, Florida (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2009. p. 11.
- "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Florida". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office.
- Light List, Volumes 1-7. United States Coast Guard.
- "Stamp Series". United States Postal Service. Retrieved Sep 2, 2013.
- McCarthy, Kevin M. (1990), Florida Lighthouses, Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press ISBN 0-8130-0982-0.
- Dean, Love (1982), Reef Lights: Seaswept Lighthouses of the Florida Keys, Key West, Florida: The Historic Key West Preservation Board ISBN 0-943528-03-8.