Tortugas Harbor Lighthouse (Garden Key Light), Dry Tortugas National Park, Fort Jefferson, Florida
TORTUGAS HARBOR (FORT JEFFERSON) LIGHT
Location: GARDEN KEY/DRY TORTUGAS ISLANDS
Station Established: 1826
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1876
Deactivated: 1924 BUT CONTINUED AS A PRIVATE AID
Foundation Materials: BRICK PARAPET
Construction Materials: IRON
Tower Shape: HEXAGONAL
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1858
Status: OPERATED AS A PRIVATE AID TO NAVIGATION
- The first light was built on this location in 1824 and lit in 1826. The light station buildings were the only structures on the Island until construction of Ft. Jefferson began in 1846. Construction of the fort dragged on until 1861 but was never completed.
- In 1858 the Dry Tortugas light was built on a nearby Island and received a first order Fresnel lens. The older tower at Fort Jefferson was reduced to a harbor light and had a fourth order lens.
- The Tortugas Harbor (or Garden Key) Light and the Dry Tortugas Light were the only lights in the Gulf Coast that remained lit during the Civil War.
- In 1877 the brick tower was torn down and an iron tower was built on the fort.
- In 1912 the keeper house burned down. The light was automated the same year.
- In 1924 the light was deactivated.
- John R. Flaherty (1825-1827)
- Joseph Ximenez (1827-1828)
- Edward Glover (1828-1836)
- R.R. Fletcher (Before 1836-1838)
- Joseph Bethel (1841)
- Captain John Thompson (1843-?)
- Alexander Hamilton (1832-?)
- Alexander Thompson (1834-?)
- Richard Watson (?-1836)