Famous Lights

American Shoal Lighthouse

The information contained in this section is taken verbatim from HISTORICALLY FAMOUS LIGHTHOUSES - CG-232. Although the format has been changed slightly for better reading and display. BJ 'n Cindy

Off shore, visible from Overseas Highway at Saddlebunch Keys.

As early as 1851 plans were made for the erection of a series of great offshore lighthouses to mark the dangerous Florida Reefs. These towers, all of skeleton iron construction, to resist hurricanes, were eventually built one at a time over a period of years, that on American Shoal completed in 1880, being the most recently constructed. The ironwork for this light .was fabricated in the North, and along with other necessary supplies and materials, was shipped to Key West. which was made the base of operations. The site of the lighthouse was 15 miles to the eastward, on the outermost reefs, and was covered with 4 feet of water. Construction continued for about 2 years, and the tower when completed cost about $94,000. The lighthouse was first lighted on the night of July 15, 1880, and has since helped to bring about a substantial reduction in the number of shipwrecks occurring along this dangerous coast. The light is 109 feet above the water, and is visible on a clear night for 16 miles. American Shoal Lighthouse is almost exactly like the Fowey Rocks Lighthouse situated near Miami. (1) (2)