Reef Beacons; Unlit and Forgotten: Interpreting History for the Future

Author(s): Brenda Altmeier

Year: 2016


 Navigational markers are prominent reminders of our country’s maritime heritage. In 1789 the Lighthouse Act was one of several laws the first congress passed to regulate and encourage trade and commerce of the new world. Shipping routes today are much like the historical routes used during discovery and colonization of the new world. Many maritime heritage resources in the Florida Keys Sanctuary are a result of complications along these historical shipping routes. Shipwrecks in the Florida Keys caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses and eventually forced attention to the problems. A series of unlit beacons installed parallel to the Keys Island chain in the 1850s improved passage along the Florida Keys reef and gave hope for future travelers. The once important markers, lost in time, serve as tools to interpret technological advances in navigation and pay respects for the trailblazers who engineered our safety and survival.


Cite this Record

Reef Beacons; Unlit and Forgotten: Interpreting History for the Future. Brenda Altmeier. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434664)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 121