Cedar Key Light
The Cedar Key Light is located on Seahorse Key across the harbor from Cedar Key, Florida. Seahorse Key was the site a watchtower erected in 1801 by followers of William Augustus Bowles, self-designated Director General of the State of Muscogee, an attempt to set up an independent state in the western part of East Florida. The watchtower was destroyed by a Spanish naval force in 1802. Seahorse Key was used as a detention center for Seminoles captured in the Second Seminole War (1835”“1842) before transfer to the West. At that time the Federal government reserved several of the islands in the Cedar Keys archipelago for military use. Cedar Key became an important port during the 1840s, and in 1850 Congress appropriated funding for a lighthouse on Seahorse Key. Lieutenant George Meade helped design the lighthouse. The lighthouse was completed and lit in 1854. At the beginning of the American Civil War Confederate sympathizers extinguished the light. Federal troops occupied Seahorse Key in 1862, and used it as a prison for the duration of the war. The lighthouse was put back into service after the war ended. As of 2006, the lighthouse is serving as a 26 bunk dormitory, operated by the University of Florida, for the marine laboratory in the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge.


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