Fowey Rocks Lighthouse, southeast of Cape Florida, Key Biscayne, Miami-Dade County, Florida
FOWEY ROCKS LIGHT
Location: OFF KEY BISCAYNE
Station Established: 1878
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1878
Automated? YES 1974
Foundation Materials: SCREW PILE W/PLATFORM
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: SKELETAL
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FIRST ORDER DRUM, FRESNEL 1878 BUILT BY LEPAUTE
- 1876 - Lantern and lens for lighthouse put on display at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition.
- 1877 - The lighthouse was built to mark Fowey Rocks, so named because a Spanish galleon, H.M.S. Fowey had been lost in that area in 1748. It was thought that the Cape Florida lighthouse was not adequate enough warning for the rocks; so the screwpile light was built to replace Cape Florida. The first keepers were John and Simeon Frow; they were transferred from the decommissioned Cape Florida lighthouse.
- 1935 - A hurricane washed away the first deck of the lighthouse.
- 1975 - Windmill installed to use wind power to generate electricity.
- 1982 - Lighthouse converted to solar energy and the Fresnel lens was replaced by flash tube array lamps. (Original lens is on display at the Coast Guard Aids to Navigation School in Yorktown, VA).
- 1983 - Flash tube array lamps replaced by 300 mm lantern which did not send the light out far enough, so it was replaced by a 190 mm rotating lantern.
- 1877 - Arakanapka and Carondelet ran aground while lighthouse was under construction.
- 1905 - Schooner Alicia
- 1914 - Yacht Alice B. Philips
- 1915 - Yacht May Belle
- Simeon Frow (Head Keeper 1878 - ?)
- John Frow (1st Assistant Keeper)
- Jefferson Browne (2nd Assistant Keeper - went on to become a member of Florida’s State Supreme Court).
- Robert H. Thompson - Married Simeon Frow’s daughter and served under Simeon from 1879-1880.
- William Archer (Head Keeper 1895 - 1905).
- Henry P. Weatherford (Head Keeper 1905 - ?).
- Richard Palmer (2nd Assistant Keeper under Weatherford).
- Mike Scanlon (Coast Guard, 1961)
- Marcus Hagan (Coast Guard, c. 1961)
- Tom Bohannon (Coast Guard, c. 1961)
Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society.