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Sand Key

Sand Key

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

    Located seven miles southwest of Key West, the Sand Key Lighthouse replaced the lightship Honey, which marked Sand Key from 1848 to 1853. A hurricane in 1848 demolished an earlier lighthouse, constructed in 1827, killing the keeper and five others. George Meade, later a Union general, constructed the lighthouse, his second iron-pile structure in Florida. After a serious fire in 1989, structural repairs kept the lighthouse in service. Sand Key is little more than a sand bar today and the lighthouse is not open to the public. Its original first-order Fresnel lens is housed at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Groton, Connecticut.

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