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FL 24.  Cedar Keys Lighthouse, Florida
This lighthouse is also known as Seahorse Key Light.
 

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FL24A  Cedar Keys Lighthouse



FL24B  Cedar Keys Lighthouse


The Cedar Keys Lighthouse, is in fact, not at Cedar Key Florida, but several miles away, on Seahorse Key. The Island is oddly shaped with a hill not much more than a very large sand dune at the center of it. The lighthouse was built at the top. It was originally built as a brick tower in 1854, with the light 28 feet high, bringing it to a height of 75 feet above sea level. Later, 2 frame keepers dwellings were added to the tower.

In 1915, the light was permanently turned off. The building still stands much as it did over 100 years ago. The trees have grown up so much around it, that it is barely visible from the water.

Seahorse Key is part of a National Wildlife Refuge, and is used by the University of Florida for a marine biology lab. The public is not allowed on Seahorse, but in our quest to photograph all standing lighthouses in the U.S., we were allowed to go there, once the baby birds were hatched and a good size.

We went over in a work boat with some University people. As we got close to the Island, it looked like the trees were covered with large white flowers. Coming closer and hearing the noise, we realized these "flowers" were brown pelican young. They were covered with white feathers, endlessly demanding food from their parents. There were hundreds of pelicans on the Island, mostly young in nests.

We were given a key to the lighthouse, and we had to climb a hill to get to it. It was very hot. There was no water to drink on the Island. We took our pictures, then wandered through the lighthouse. We climbed to the tower to look out and get a birdseye view of Seahorse key and a good look at all those pelican babies, ugly babies that only a mother (pelican) could love.

We had to wait until the university people did their work to go back to Cedar Key, which is a sleepy little fishing village. It is like going back into Florida's past, and is well worth a visit, even if you can't visit the Cedar Keys Lighthouse like we did.