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Key West Lighthouses

A forum to discuss lighthouses in the Southeast US and the Gulf Coast
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Postby Maria » Sun May 22, 2005 5:06 pm


Got back late last night from the graduation celebration trip to Key West. Of course, I managed to squeeze in some lighthousing in between the margaritas and sunbathing. I will post pictures later this week.

Our first full day, we walked (never, ever rent a car in Key West) up to the Lighthouse. I had not been there since our trip in 1998. After going through the gift shop and out towards the tower, I was greated by the massive first order lens from Sombrero Key. There was also a fourth order lens in the same room. We then climbed the 88 steps to the top and enjoyed the view and the cool ocean breezes. There were also a couple of other fifth order lenses and artifacts in the Keepers quarters.

The next day we took the glass-bottom boat out to the reef. I found out that Sand Key Light is at the end of the reef. It's actually screwed into the reef. Nothing like a bonus lighthouse to brighten my day! We did not get very close to Sand Key and it was pretty cloudy, so I'll have to see if anything is post-able.

On Thursday, we went out to Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas. The light on Fort Jefferson really took a beating in the hurricaines last year and most of its windows are covered in plywood. It looks really sad.

About 3 miles from Garden Key, where the fort is located, is Loggerhead Key. We did not get very close to the island, so I couldn't get a really good look. However, I was asking the park ranger about plans for the Fort Jefferson Light (money issues, of course), and she said that Loggerhead Key also got a pretty good beating from the hurricaines, particularly Charlie. She also said that there were discussions with the tour companies to run trips out to Loggerhead Key, but the dock would need a major upgrade if that were to happen. The ranger called the current dock an "ankle breaker". Loggerhead was included under the "would you be interested in" section of the comment cards on the tour. Of course, I gave it the highest rating.

I have hundreds of photos to sort through, and I promise I will post some later this week. I also have tons of non-lighthouse photos, including the Hemingway cats, the butterly conservatory and the Key West cemetery, where the crew of the Maine is buried. If there is anything in particular you want to see, let me know.

And one word of advice, if you go to the Truman White House, and buy one of those adorable brass anchor candleholders, don't put it in your carry-on luggage.

8)

Maria
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Postby COTA » Sun May 22, 2005 5:37 pm


8O

:P Maria, Can't wait to see the photos! Key West and the lighthouses are really close to my priority list for possible upcoming trips. So any advice from you is welcomed!

Glad you had a great time. Any suggestions for accomodations?
Beth
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Postby Maria » Thu May 26, 2005 5:41 pm


And now for the pictures.....
Image
Key West Lighthouse, taken from the top balcony of Ernest Hemingway's House. The story is that Hemingway bought the house across the street from the lighthouse so he would always be able to find his way home from the bars.

Image
Some of the lenses that are in the museum/keepers' quarters.


Image
The first order lens from Sombrero Key (as much as I could get in the picture).

I saw Loggerhead Key and Garden Key at Fort Jefferson. Rather than me try to explain what this is, you can read about it here http://www.nps.gov/drto/

Image

Since it was pretty hazy, I couldn't get anything descent of Loggerhead Key, so I tried for something more unique. This was shot through the window of Dr. Samuel Mudd's cell at Fort Jefferson.

Image
A not-so-flattering picture of me in front of the Garden Key lighthouse. The windows are still boarded up from last year's hurricanes.

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This is the best I could do on Sand Key....it was overcast and I was on a boat.

I'm also putting up some non-lighthouse related photos in the non-lighthouse forum.

8)

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Postby beachbum1616 » Thu May 26, 2005 5:46 pm


Thanks for sharing those.

Do you know what order those two lenses are (4th?) and which lights they came from?
Stephen

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Postby Maria » Thu May 26, 2005 7:01 pm


Stephen, I should have paid more attention because I should have known you guys would drill me for details. I believe they are fourth order, but I do remember that they are on loan from another museum, but there was no indication where they came from.

8)

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Postby Leah Loar-Mays » Fri May 27, 2005 12:42 am


Thanks, Maria!! Bravo!!! :D
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Postby mikev » Fri May 27, 2005 6:49 am


Key West has its own 3rd, a couple of 4ths and a couple of 5ths. Those look to be the fourth orders, original lighthouses (I believe), unknown.
Mike Vogel
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