Sketch Showing the Positions of the Beacons on the Florida Reefs


U.S. Coast survey of the Florida Keys showing navigational beacons available to mariners.

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The number of shoals and reefs seen on this map of the Florida Keys gives us some idea of the navigational hazards experienced by mariners in the region. Lighthouses helped, but were expensive to build and maintain. As an added layer of protection against running afoul of hidden dangers, the U.S. Coast Survey also erected beacons at particularly dangerous points along the island chain.

This map, issued in 1855, shows the location of sixteen such beacons, labeled A-P, as well as a detailed diagram of their individual components. The aforementioned hazards are also labeled, as well as points of safe harbor which are indicated by an anchor.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1855

Author: U.S. Coast Survey

Sheet Width (in): 20.50

Sheet Height (in): 17.30

Condition: B+

Condition Description: A narrow left margin from where the map was originally disbound from its report. Minor discoloration along fold lines, with later hand color.