Sombrero Key Light

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Sombrero Key Light
USCGSombrero key 1971 sm.jpg
Sombrero Key Light (from U.S. Coast Guard archives)
Location near Key Vaca in Marathon, Florida
Coordinates 24°37′40.46″N 81°06′41.78″W / 24.6279056°N 81.1116056°W / 24.6279056; -81.1116056
Year first lit 1858
Automated 1960
Foundation iron pilings with disks
Construction cast iron
Tower shape skeletal octagonal pyramid
Height 142 feet (43 m)
Original lens first order Fresnel lens
Range White 15 nautical miles (28 km; 17 mi), Red 20 nautical miles (37 km; 23 mi)
Racon

"M" (— —)

Sombrero Key Light
Sombrero Key Light is located in Florida
Sombrero Key Light
Location Offshore approx. 5.5 mi. SSW. of Marathon
Nearest city Marathon, Florida
Coordinates 24°37′40.46″N 81°06′41.78″W / 24.6279056°N 81.1116056°W / 24.6279056; -81.1116056Coordinates: 24°37′40.46″N 81°06′41.78″W / 24.6279056°N 81.1116056°W / 24.6279056; -81.1116056
MPS Light Stations of the United States MPS
NRHP Reference # 12000092[1]
Added to NRHP March 9, 2012

Sombrero Key Light is located near Key Vaca in Marathon, Florida. The lighthouse is located on a mostly submerged reef. The name Sombrero Key goes back to the Spanish, and old charts show a small island at the spot, but by the later 19th Century the island had eroded away, with some parts of the reef exposed at low tide. As a result, the reef and the lighthouse have also been called Dry Banks.[2]

The lighthouse was put in service in 1858, automated in 1960, and is still in operation. The foundation is iron pilings with disks, and the tower is a skeletal octagonal pyramid of cast iron. It is a 142-foot (43 m) tall brown painted tower. It has two platforms. The lower one, 15 feet (4.6 m) above the water, held water and fuel tanks, the generator (after the light was electrified), boat hoists and a workshop. The upper platform, 40 feet (12 m) above the water, held the quarters for the staff. The original lens, a first order Fresnel lens, is now on display in the Key West Lighthouse Museum. The Sombrero Key Light is the tallest lighthouse in the Florida Keys, and was the last lighthouse constructed under the supervision of Lieutenant George Meade of the Bureau of Topographical Engineers.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 3/05/12 through 3/09/12". National Park Service. March 16, 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Sombrero Key Lighthouse History". Historic Lighthouse Publishers. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

  • McCarthy, Kevin M. 1990. Cape Florida Lighthouse. Florida Lighthouses. (pp. 41–44). University of Florida Press.

External links[edit]