The Rebecca Shoals lie about 43 miles west of Key West, Florida. This shoal is about 11' deep completely surrounded by deep water. This is how a navigational nightmare is made for mariners. It is also in this area that the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico meet.
It would take several attempts to build a lighthouse here. The first three attempts were washed away in severe weather. General George Meade eventually succeeded in creating a seventy five foot tall lighted tower much like the one in the picture above. Several years later, it was removed in favor of an actual lighthouse. It was a house with a beacon through the roof sitting on an iron-pile foundation.
The lighthouse was automated in 1925 and the house was removed from the site in 1953. A tower replaced the house that displayed the light 60' above sea level. The tower was later replaced with the light displayed in the picture above. It houses a 250mm optic and flashes ever 6 seconds. Its effective range is 9 miles.
Here is a picture of the Original Rebecca Shoal Lighthouse from the US Coast Guard Archives.
Directions: This lighthouse sits off shore quite a ways. We passed the light on the Yankee Freedom II trip to Dry Tortugas National Park. This is the best way to view this light.
[ Home ]