Cape Florida Lighthouse

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Something I enjoy about Florida’s east coast is something you don’t find much of in Southwest Florida- history.

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With 192 years of history the Cape Florida lighthouse guides mariners off the Florida Reef, which starts near Key Biscayne and marks the Florida Channel, the deepest natural channel into Biscayne Bay. We walked up 109 steps to the 2 foot wide tower platform, around the replica of the keeper’s quarters and down the sea walls to look over the bay and jetty. We didn’t let the Miami heat distract us from the stunning views, aquatic birds, tegu, green iguana and orb weavers.

 

 

 

 

First constructed in 1825, it was decommissioned after July 23, 1836, when a band of Seminole attacked the lighthouse. John W. B. Thompson aided by Aaron Carter attempted to defend the lighthouse in a heated raid. The second lighthouse was renovated and repaired on multiple occasions after the American Civil War, multiple hurricanes and beach erosion.

The lighthouse is located inside Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Area. The park was named after an editor of the Miami Herald (Bill Baggs, 1921-1969) because of the work he did to protect and preserve the island in its natural state. Baggs was also a civil rights activist. The area was part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Trail in the early 1820’s as an escape to the Bahamas.

 

 

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