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Key West Lighthouse

Key West Lighthouse

SITES TO SEE, TOURS, UNITED STATES

The Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum is directly across the street from the Hemingway House.

The original lighthouse was built in 1825. In 1832, the first woman Keeper of a lighthouse was named. Barbara Mabrity became the Key West Lighthouse Keeper in 1832 after the death of her husband, the previous keeper.

In 1846, the Great Havana Hurricane hit Key West and destroyed the lighthouse. That was before the current naming scheme for hurricanes. It earned the “Great Havana Hurricane” name since it was a direct hit on Cuba on its way to Key West.

In 1848, the tower we see today was opened measuring 15 meters high.  In the years following, the Key West Lighthouse underwent a number of upgrades including the installation of a Third Order Fresnel Lens, an extension to the tower which allowed the light to be seen from a greater distance, the addition of Keeper’s Quarters, and finally the electrification of the light.

 

Key West Light House
Key West Light House

 

The lighthouse itself is quite a climb with 88 steps trekking up to the top of the tower.  We started the climb up the very narrow and winding stairs.  I constantly felt like the stairs were moving and began to get the shakes.   With the lack of a/c, it was quite hot and probably not a good thing to do during the hot summer Florida months.  Once we reached the platform around the lighthouse it was quite narrow and there were placards pointing out sites like the southernmost point of the Continental US.  I could see all the sides of the island.  I pushed myself against the wall of the platform and took a few pictures.   The climb down was just as frightening.   Having to stop every so often to allow someone to squeeze by.   It was well worth the workout.

 

Key West Lighthouse Stairs
Key West Lighthouse Stairs
View of Key West from the platform of the Key West Lighthouse
View of Key West from the platform of the Key West Lighthouse
View of Key West from the platform of the Key West Lighthouse
View of Key West from the platform of the Key West Lighthouse
View of Key West from the platform of the Key West Lighthouse
View of Key West from the platform of the Key West Lighthouse

 

The lighthouse was decommissioned by the Coast Guard in 1969, since there was no longer a need for a full-time Keeper due to technological advancements.

 

Key West Lighthouse
Key West Lighthouse

 

Today, this Sentinel of the Sea stands as a museum dedicated to Key West’s maritime heritage and to the men and women who bravely kept the light burning to protect the ships and sailors.

The lighthouse is surrounded by a set of sculpture exhibits on the Key West Light House grounds.  The statues are by world renowned artist, Seward Johnson.

 

Key West Lighthouse sculptures by artist Seward Johnson
Key West Lighthouse sculptures by artist Seward Johnson
Key West Lighthouse sculptures by artist Seward Johnson
Key West Lighthouse sculptures by artist Seward Johnson
Key West Lighthouse sculptures by artist Seward Johnson
Key West Lighthouse sculptures by artist Seward Johnson
Key West Lighthouse sculptures by artist Seward Johnson
Key West Lighthouse sculptures by artist Seward Johnson

 

Admissions:

Adults: $10 Children (age 6 and up): $5
Children under 6: FREE Students with ID: $5
Seniors (62+), AAA Travelers, and Locals with ID: $9
KWAHS Members: FREE

 

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

4 Comments

  1. Cat
    September 15, 2014 at 3:47 am
    Reply

    Nice! Love the view from the top of the lighthouse. The statues are so cute 😉

    • Carmen
      September 15, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Cat, The view is great from the top. I was very anxious to get down since I’m afraid of heights. The statues are a nice addition to the property.

  2. Lisa Goodmurphy
    September 21, 2014 at 3:53 pm
    Reply

    You’re much braver than I am – I’m afraid of heights and I’m not sure that I could climb that spiral staircase!

    • Carmen
      September 21, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      Hi Lisa, Going up wasn’t so bad as long as I didn’t look down. Coming down was worse.

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