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a04 KEY LIGHT WAS LONELY BEAM DURING CIVIL WAR By HAMPTON DUNN LOGGERHEAD KEY -For more than a century, the Dry Tort ugas Light Station has kept vigil over lonely waters from this out ermost key of the Florida Keys. It's son ic 70 miles west of Key West and on one of the inlets that, compose the Dry Tortugas. "Tor tugas" is Spanish for turtles (the explorer Ponce de Leon named the coral keys), and loggerhead is a variety of turtle. According to Cmdr. A. E. Carls on of the U.S. Coast Guard the light was established following an appropriation of $35,000 by the 1856 Congress. A light on Garden Key, where Fort Jefferson is lo cated, four miles away, then was reduced to a 4th order light and served as a harbor light. D ry Tortugas was one of the few Southern lights continuously in operation during the Civil War, the reason being, it is assumed, that the Keys were occupied by Federal troops during that period. The light at the top of a. 150 ft. tower was a fixed white lig ht and a 1st order Fresnel lens. In 1875 the Lighthouse Board asked for $100, 000 to rebuild the light since it was badly beaten by a hurricane in 1873. Congress came t hrough with a $75,000 appropria tion. The next year another hurri cane swept the Keys mak ing ac tion more urgent. By 1877 there was still no new lighthouse and, according to Cmdr. Carlson, "The Lighthouse Board must have despaired because the reports for the next 30 years tell of repairs and more repairs to the old structure.' Here it is many years since the light was established and the signal shines forth from the same old tower it always has. What hap pened to the $75,000 appropriat ion. No one s eems to know.
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Key light was lonely beam during Civil War
h [electronic resource] /
by Hampton Dunn.
1 online resource (2 p.) :
Title from caption on PDF of p.1 (viewed July 7, 2010).
At head of title: Photouring Florida.
Typescript of Photouring Florida column that describes the Dry Tortugas lighthouse at Loggerhead Key.
Dry Tortugas (Fla.)
x Description and travel.
t Hampton Dunn Photouring Florida collection.