Pigeon Key / Lighthouse Tour
Duration: Per Person:
20 Minutes $140.00 *
Extend the Pigeon Key Tour with a side trip to the historic Sombrero Lighthouse.
Pigeon Key is a small island containing the historic district of Pigeon Key, Florida. The 5-acre island is home to 8 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, some of which remain from its earliest incarnation as a work camp for the Florida East Coast Railway. Today these buildings serve a variety of purposes, ranging from housing for educational groups to administrative offices for the non-profit Pigeon Key Foundation. The former Assistant Bridge Tender's House has been converted into a small museum featuring artifacts and images from Pigeon Key's colorful past. It is located off the old Seven Mile Bridge, at approximately mile marker 45, west of Knight's Key, (city of Marathon in the middle Florida Keys) and just east of Moser Channel, which is the deepest section of the 7-mile span.
The island was originally known as "Cayo Paloma" (literally translated as "Pigeon Key") on many old Spanish charts - said to have been named for large flocks of white-crowned pigeons (Columba leucocephala Linnaeus) which once roosted there. During the building of Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad Key West Extension between 1908 and 1912, there were at times as many as 400 workers housed on the island. While these workers built many bridges along the route through the lower keys, the Seven Mile Bridge, spanning the gap between Knight's Key and Little Duck Key remains the largest and most impressive component of what was once referred to as "the 8th Wonder of the World". A number of buildings from the Flagler era remain on the island and are now part of the Pigeon Key Historic District.
Pigeon Key was one of the locations for the "Bal Harbor Institute" in the 1995 series of Flipper. It was seen in three episodes during season one including the pilot episode. It was also the site of the finish line of The Amazing Race 18 "Unfinished Business" in 2011.
The lighthouse was put in service in 1858, automated in 1960, and was deactivated in 2015. The foundation is iron pilings with disks, and the tower is a skeletal octagonal pyramid of cast iron. It is a 142-foot tall red painted tower. It has two platforms. The lower one, 15 feet above the water, held water and fuel tanks, the generator (after the light was electrified), boat hoists and a workshop. The upper platform, 40 feet above the water, held the quarters for the staff. The original lens, a first-order Fresnel lens, is now on display in the Key West Lighthouse Museum. The Sombrero Key Light is the tallest lighthouse in the Florida Keys, and was the last lighthouse constructed under the supervision of Lieutenant George Meade of the Bureau of Topographical Engineers.
Pigeon Key / Lighthouse Tour
* Price per person is for passengers of all ages. There is a 2 passenger minimum for all tours. If you are a single rider a private tour option is available to you for $280.
Maximum individual passenger weight may not exceed 300lbs, and maximim total weight of all passengers may not exceed 550lbs.