Garden Key Harbor Light Stamp Dedication
Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
The Fort Jefferson Lighthouse, also known as the Garden Key Harbor Light, is in Dry Tortugas National Park, approximately 70 miles west of Key West. Dan B. Kimball, Superintendent, Dry Tortugas and Everglades National Parks, will give remarks on the preservation of Fort Jefferson, including the light, on Garden Key. In addition, Glenn D. Simpson, Program Manager for the NPS Southeast Region for Division of Historic Preservation, and Kelly Clark, Dry Tortugas Exhibit Specialist, who have been working on the Garden Key Lighthouse preservation will be on hand to answer any questions.
Postmaster Evans will recognize local artist Anne Shaver whose pen and ink drawing of a Sooty Tern, a familiar seabird in the Florida Keys, is featured on a pictorial postmark. The Postal Service offers pictorial postmarks to commemorate local community events; the Sooty Tern pictorial postmark will be available at the stamp dedication ceremony and by mail.
The Harbor Light on Garden Key in Dry Tortugas National Park was constructed in 1876 by the US Army Corps of Engineers. This light replaced the original Tortugas Harbor Light that was constructed in 1825 and was located within the parade ground of historic Fort Jefferson. The existing light is a hexagonal, wrought iron tower. The light is no longer an active Aid to Navigation but is still a contributing structure to the overall historic significance of Fort Jefferson and Dry Tortugas National Park.
After damage from the 2005 hurricanes, the National Park Service took this opportunity to replace non-historic windows with historically accurate shutters and doors. A historic preservation crew from Bandelier National Monument is currently finishing the installation of these shutters and doors in cooperation with the Cultural Resources staff of Dry Tortugas National Park. Everyone is invited to visit the park to see the results of this work and the new "old" appearance of the Garden Key Lighthouse.
Did You Know?
Fort Jefferson served for a time as a remote prison facility. One of its most famous inmates was none other than Dr. Samuel Mudd, who set the leg of John Wilkes Booth following the assassination of President Lincoln. Mudd was incarcerated on the Dry Tortugas for only four years, from 1865 to 1869.