Key West Light Station
The Key West Lighthouse is a very rich lighthouse in the world and has much history behind it.
Backstory and Context
The Key West Lighthouse was originally crafted in 1825 to assist the other ships in their navigating ways
and other arduous tasks (Dale). The Lighthouse is located at Key West Florida at the docks and is still
a very eye-opening sight to behold (Barbara). The original Key West Lighthouse was conceived by the
U.S navy for a very simple and understandable reason (bestonkeywest.com). It’s mainly due to the
Americans in Florida not wanting ships to crash into anymore places in order to be safe and sound. As
history shows, the Key West Lighthouse helped guide lots of sailors back to where they belong and out
of harm’s way.
In 1822 Matthew Perry was sent to investigate the reefs of Florida. Perry realized that him and his crew would need to find their way back home some way and so he proposed the idea of four different lighthouses in four different areas (Craig). Two lighthouses in the reef areas, Cape Florida and the Dry Tortugas, and two lighthouses in intermediate points of Florida, those being Key West and the Sambo Keys (Craig). This project was set to be funded and a man named Samuel B. Lincoln had all the construction material ready, but when he set sail, he tragically lost his life at sea and because the materials were on board too, the project had to be delayed (Craig). Luckily an ocean vessel known by the name of the George Stodder got plucked from its place and put into a journey for Key West to finish what Samuel B. Lincoln started (Craig). At first, it seemed like the lighthouse was going to be put on the small islands, but they were already filled up, so it was decided that the lighthouse would be put on Key West instead (Craig). Thus, the Key West Lighthouse was created and it guided so many different sailors back to their place of belonging.
The Key West Lighthouse has had ten different heads commanding it and these heads have had eleven assistants (Barbara). One interesting fact about the Florida Key West Lighthouse is that the one currently viewable in Key West right is not the original but is in fact, the second Key West Lighthouse to lay there as of this moment (Dale). The first Key West Lighthouse was tragically destroyed within the year 1846 (Dale), 21 years after its construction by a hurricane known as the Great Havana. Luckily it came back after it was rebuilt by people who felt that turning the Key West Lighthouse into a museum wasn’t a fitting end for a place with such a rich history (Dale). This new Key West Lighthouse later got an upgrade to make it taller than the original Key West Lighthouse so now it has not only taken the place of the original but also surpassed it (Dale).
Some of the assistants have even ascended to become heads of the Key West Lighthouse themselves which is only a natural progression in their line of work (Barbara). The Key West Lighthouse currently does not need a keeper because it is manned by machines so it can stay on forever (Craig). Many of the original Key West Lighthouse’s traits remain faithfully recreated but now the lighthouse is lying at a whopping 88 feet tall on this very day (Dale). For a time in the 1960’s, the Key West Lighthouse was deactivated and turned into a museum for people to look at historical weaponry and other devices it would be a sad fate for the Lighthouse if not for what happened next (Dale). In 1987 a huge sum of money had been given to start bringing the Key West Lighthouse back to its former glory and it ended up succeeding in the end and most people seemed to be pleased with the result (Dale). The Key West Lighthouse is a very attractive piece of history to check out in Key West.
Mabrity, Barbara, The Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters museum: A beacon at the corner of
America, December 23, 2005 https://web.archive.org/web/20051223074856/http://www.kwahs.com/lighthouse.htm
Cox, Dale, Sentinel of the Florida Keys, 2011
No author listed, Key West Historic Places: the lighthouse, no date listed
Anderson Craig, Few Kathy, Key West Lighthouse, no date listed