American Shoal Light

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American Shoal Light
Americanshoal.JPG
American Shoal lighthouse
American Shoal Light is located in Florida
American Shoal Light
Florida
Location south-east of the
Saddlebunch Keys
close to Looe Key
Florida
United States
Coordinates 24°31′31″N 81°31′10″W / 24.525189°N 81.519464°W / 24.525189; -81.519464Coordinates: 24°31′31″N 81°31′10″W / 24.525189°N 81.519464°W / 24.525189; -81.519464
Year first constructed 1880
Automated 1963
Foundation screw-pile with platform
Construction wrought iron skeleton tower
Tower shape octagonal pyramidal skeletal tower with platform and 2-storey keeper's quarters, central cylinder, balcony and lantern
Markings / pattern red tower and lantern
Height 110 feet (34 m)
Focal height 109 feet (33 m)
Original lens First-order drum Fresnel lens (1880)
Current lens VRB-25 aerobeacon
Light source solar power
Range white: 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi)
red: 10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi)
Characteristic Fl (3) W 15s. (two red sectors)
Racon "Y" (– • – –)
Admiralty number J3002
ARLHS number USA-011[1]
USCG number 3-1015[2][3]
Managing agent

United States Coast Guard[4][5][6]

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, United States. 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.

History[edit]

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.[5]

American Shoal 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 15 miles to the eastward, on the outermost reefs, and was covered with 4 feet of water. Construction continued for about 2 years, and the tower when completed cost about $94,000. The lighthouse was first lighted on the night of July 15, 1880.[5]

American Shoal Light was built in wrought iron on 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 current light is a VRB-25 aerobeacon. 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.

The lighthouse is listed as number 1015 in the U.S. Coast Guard light list.[7]

In 1990, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 25 cent featuring the American Shoal Light.[8]

On May 20, 2016, 24 Cuban refugees boarded the lighthouse.[9] Elements of the United States Coast Guard repatriated four of the refugees, and interned the other twenty at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station.

Head keepers[edit]

  • William Bates (1880 – 1889)
  • Henry P. Weatherford (1899 – 1905)
  • Alfred A. Berghell (1905 – 1907)
  • Arthur C.E. Hamblett (1907 – 1908)
  • John Peterson (1908 – 1910)
  • William H. Curry (1910 – at least 1915)
  • Thomas M. Kelly (1917)
  • William H. Pierce (at least 1919)
  • Richard C. Roberts (at least 1921 – at least 1936)
  • James O. Duncan (1939 – at least 1940)[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lighthouses Directory
  2. ^ Light List, Volume III, Atlantic Coast, Little River, South Carolina to Econfina River, Florida (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2009. p. 11. 
  3. ^ "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Florida". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. 
  4. ^ American Shoal The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 27 June 2016
  5. ^ a b c Florida Historic Light Station Information & Photography United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 27 June 2016.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  6. ^ American Shoal Light Lighthouse Explorer. Retrieved 27 June 2016
  7. ^ Light List, Volumes 1-7. United States Coast Guard. 
  8. ^ "Stamp Series". United States Postal Service. Retrieved Sep 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ Mario J. Penton (2016-07-20). "Un balsero deja la Base de Guantánamo para reunirse con su familia en Cuba" [A rafter leave Guantanamo Bay to meet with his family in Cuba] (in Spanish). Miami, Florida: 14ymedio. Retrieved 2016-07-22. Leyva y otros 23 cubanos hacían parte de un grupo de balseros que el pasado 20 de mayo se refugiaron en el faro American Shoal, a siete millas de las costas estadounidenses. 
  10. ^ American Shoal, Fla. Lighthouse Friends. Retrieved 27 June 2016

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]