FOWEY ROCKS LIGHTHOUSE
Biscayne National Monument Area
Between Key Biscayne and Sands Key
Fowey Rocks derived its name from the British warship H.M.S. Fowey, which wrecked on the reef in 1748. The lighthouse is the first of the Florida Keys towers when heading south. The Keys stretch from Biscayne Bay to the Dry Tortugas between Florida Bay and the Straits of Florida. The eight Keys lighthouses have been warning mariners for over 100 years about the dangerous coral reefs lying off the islands.
Since the great weight of the massive northern-type structures and the exposed locations, engineers constructed skeleton frameworks using wrought-iron piles that had been developed in England in 1836. They offered little wind resistance and the foundation did not settle into the soft bottom.
When the new 110' tower was completed in 1878, the Cape Florida lighthouse to the northeast became obsolete and was abandoned until 1978.
The Fowey Rocks Lighthouse withstood the notorious hurricane of 1935 that washed away the Overseas Railroad. The lighthouse lost its first deck, 15' above sea level, but the tower remained. Today, the tower light is solar-powered and flashes every 10 seconds.
LIGHTHOUSE - 110' / OPEN - Access prohibited / MUSEUM - No / FEE - No