Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse is about halfway between Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton on the southeast coast of Florida, marking the northern limit of the Florida Reef, the third largest coral barrier reef system in the world. The skeletal lighthouse was constructed in 1907, with a second-order Fresnel lens.
The Fresnel lens was taken out of operation in 1992 and a modern optic was mounted on the gallery railing. Local citizens mounted a restoration campaign, and the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society was formed in 1997. The Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society opened a museum and information center in 2012.
Ralph Krugler is the historian for the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society. He has spent several years researching the history of the light station, its keepers, and related subjects, and he’s put together an extensive book on the subject. He’s also on the board of directors of both the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society and the Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation. This is part one of a two-part interview; part two will posted on Wednesday, July 1.
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org