SOMBRERO KEY LIGHTHOUSE
Five miles off Marathon
Sombrero Key Lighthouse is the tallest of the lights along the reefs, standing 142' above sea level and flashing a light five times every 60 seconds that can be seen 15 miles at sea.
The tower was completed in 1858 with a first-order fixed light with a Fresnel lens. Two platforms offered various accommodations. The lower one, 15' above sea level, was for storage, a workshop and a hoisted launch and lifeboat. The second platform, 40' above sea level, contained living quarters. A cast-iron cylinder leads from the living quarters to the lantern room to provide keepers with protected access.
In 1939, the U.S. Coast Guard replaced the three civilian keepers with four guardsmen. In 1960, the tower light was automated, freeing the guardsmen and reducing costs of operating the beacon.
LIGHTHOUSE - 142' / OPEN - Access prohibited / MUSEUM - No / FEE - No