SEAHORSE KEY LIGHTHOUSE
Three miles west-southwest
Cedar Key, FL
In 1852 Congress appropriated $12,000 to build a lighthouse on Seahorse Key which lies three miles west-southwest of Cedar Key in the Gulf, between the outlets of the Suwannee and Waccasassa rivers.
The 28'-high brick structure was built on granite rock pilings in 1854 on a 52' dune with quarters for keepers and their families. Some 75' above sea level, the light had a fourth-order fixed light visible for 15 miles.
At the beginning of the Civil War, Confederates extinguished the light to hinder Union forces blockading the coast. In 1861, federal troops occupied the island and turned the lighthouse into a prison. After the Civil War, the light was lighted and continued to guide ships using the Cedar Key port.
In 1905, the navy installed a wireless telegraph station on Seahorse Key. Ten years later, the light was extinguished permanently. Seahorse Key is now part of a National Wildlife Refuge and the University of Florida now uses the island for marine biology research.
LIGHTHOUSE - 28' / OPEN - No / MUSEUM - No / FEE - No