Description

  • This photograph shows Fort Jefferson Lighthouse, one of 30 historic lighthouses in the state of Florida. The origins of the structure go back to 1825, when a 65-foot (20-meter) tower was completed at Bush Key (now known as Garden Key) in the Dry Tortugas and fitted with a light consisting of 23 lamps in 14-inch (35-centimeter) reflectors. Construction of Fort Jefferson began in 1847. The fort covered the entire island and incorporated the lighthouse in its south wall. In 1856 a taller lighthouse was constructed, and in 1858 the Garden Key light’s lens was installed on a newer lighthouse on nearby Loggerhead Key after sailors complained that the Garden Key light was too far from the surrounding reefs to be effective. Garden Key was reduced to being a harbor light with a much weaker lens. It was damaged by a hurricane in 1873 and replaced by a new tower built of boiler plate on top of the fort’s walls, the structure shown here. Fort Jefferson was a military installation and prison that once housed the conspirators convicted of killing President Abraham Lincoln. It is now part of Dry Tortugas National Park.

Photographer

Date Created

Subject Date

Place

Time Period

Topic

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

  • 1 slide: color

Collection

Institution