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
Location3.5 nautical miles; 6.4 kilometres (4 mi) east of Indian Key
near the Matecumbe Keys
United states
Coordinates24°51′6.43″N 80°37′7.86″W / 24.8517861°N 80.6188500°W / 24.8517861; -80.6188500Coordinates: 24°51′6.43″N 80°37′7.86″W / 24.8517861°N 80.6188500°W / 24.8517861; -80.6188500
Year first lit1873
Foundationiron piles woth platform
Constructionwrought iron skeleton framework tower
Tower shapeoctagonal pyramidal tower enclosing stair cylinder, keeper's dwelling on a platform, balcony and lantern
Markings / patternwhite tower and keeper's dwelling, black lantern and pile foundations
Tower height136 feet (41 m)
Focal height136 feet (41 m)
Original lensfirst order bivalve Fresnel lens (1873)
Current lensVRB-25 aerobeacon (1997)
Light sourcesolar power
Rangewhite: 16 nautical miles (30 km; 18 mi)
red: 13 nautical miles (24 km; 15 mi)
CharacteristicFl (4) W 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°.
Racon"G" (Golf)
Admiralty numberJ2988
ARLHS numberUSA-006
USCG number3-0980
Managing agentUnited States Coast Guard[1][2]
Heritageplace listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata
Alligator Reef Light
NRHP reference #11000860
Added to NRHPDecember 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 had 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 has a range of approximately 7 nautical miles (13 km; 8.1 mi).

It is listed as number 980 in the USCG light lists.[3][4]

Historical information[edit]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Alligator Reef The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 27 June 2016
  2. ^ Florida Historic Light Station Information & Photography United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 27 June 2016
  3. ^ Light List, Volumes 1-7. United States Coast Guard.
  4. ^

External links[edit]