Alligator Reef Lighthouse

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Alligator Reef, United States
Alligator Reef Lighthouse - Alligator Reef Lighthouse
Alligator Reef Lighthouse - Alligator Reef Lighthouse
Alligator Reef Lighthouse - Alligator Reef Lighthouse
Alligator Reef Lighthouse - Alligator Reef Lighthouse

Alligator Reef Lighthouse Reviews

grandmar grandmar
237 reviews
Most Expensive Florida Lighthouse Feb 05, 2001
This light is four miles east of Indian Key on the Hawk Channel side of the Keys near Islamorada Florida. We pass it each time we go up or down the Keys, but we don't usually get close enough to it to take it's picture. It is a 136 foot tall white, iron skeletal tower screwpile lighthouse with integral keeper's quarters, and a black lantern. This light is operational.

Alligator Reef Light was the most expensive of Florida's reef lights, at $83,000. When it opened in 1873 it had a first order Fresnel lens. It was automated in 1963 with a solar powered VRB-25.

Alligator Reef was named for the 1822 wreck of the USS Alligator, a 12-gun schooner that was used to combat the slave trade. The first major hurricane to hit the lighthouse occured in 1876. The storm vibrated the top of the tower badly enough to cause the lens to rotate at an irregular speed. The same storm washed the boats off the lighthouse's platforms.

The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 also came ashore near the lighthouse. This storm was one of the worst ever recored in the western hemisphere. It killed over 400 people on the nearby keys. Winds of over 200 miles per hour jammed the iron shutters of the lighthouse closed, destroyed interior wooden doors and broke every window except one. Stone from a bridge four miles away was washed onto the lower platform Despite the damage to the lighthouse, the keepers were uninjured.

The first viewing location for the Alligator Reef Lighthouse extends from the southern end of Upper Matecumbe Key (MM 80), across the Tea Table Channel bridge to the north end of Lower Matecumbe Key (MM 77). The best offroad spot to photograph the lighthouse is at MM 79.

It is the easist Reef lighthouse to see from the highway, being only a little more than three miles from land. Nearby Indian Key State Historical site was the staging area for building the lighthouse and the views from Indian Key are even better. In view of that, my pictures of it are pretty pathetic.

The lighthouse is not open to the public
Alligator Reef Lighthouse
Alligator Reef Lighthouse
Alligator Reef Lighthouse
Alligator Reef Lighthouse
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