AMERICAN SHOAL LIGHTHOUSE
Off Saddlebunch Keys
Congress appropriated $125,000 in 1878 for this 109' lighthouse with a light visible for 13 miles at sea. Foundry workers in Philadelphia built the parts of the lighthouse, assembled it to make sure each part fit correctly, disassembled it, and shipped it to Key West, where a special boat was built to take the parts out to American Shoal Key. The light went into operation in July, 1880.
After 83 years of being manned by keepers, the lighthouse was automated with solar panels and batteries by the Coast Guard in 1963.
During the 1980 Cuban refugee exodus the lighthouse was manned and used to monitor the boat traffic and aid in capturing contraband entering the U.S.
LIGHTHOUSE - 109' / OPEN - Access prohibited / MUSEUM - No / FEE - No