The Florida Maritime Heritage Trail 
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Key West

Key West

Photo courtesy of
the Internet Public Library.

    The first Key West Lighthouse, 65 feet tall, was built in 1825 near the shoreline of the island, but in 1846 a hurricane destroyed it and killed 14 people inside. A new 66-foot lighthouse was constructed farther inland in 1847. In 1894, the new tower was increased to 86 feet. With a base about 15 feet above sea level, the light source is 100 feet high. Removed from active service in 1969, the lighthouse and keeper’s house became a museum and are open to visitors. The Sombrero Key first-order Fresnel lens is on display along with many maritime artifacts.

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