Once again, Lighthouse Digest has been forced to add another lighthouse to our widely respected Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List of Endangered Lighthouses. This time it’s the Carysfort Reef Lighthouse.
Completed in 1852, the Carysfort Reef Lighthouse is located in the Upper Florida Keys near Key Largo, Florida. It was the first of the reef lighthouses completed. Since galvanized metal was still in its infancy, the process was not used in the construction of the lighthouse, which, as of today, might have offered the lighthouse better protection.
The lighthouse was automated in 1960 and its keepers were removed. At one time, plans called for a research facility to be established at the lighthouse, but the plans never materialized. Also there was talk at one time, when it was still in good condition, of disassembling the interior of keeper’s quarters at the lighthouse and reassembling it for display on shore. Although the Coast Guard removed the platform that once was attached between the rows of shutters to prevent vandalism, it did little to prevent vandals from their attacks against the lighthouse.
The Coast Guard has now abandoned the lighthouse and, unless someone comes forward to save it, its fate is doomed.
This story appeared in the
Mar/Apr 2015 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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