Caja de Muertos

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    The Caja de Muertos lighthouse entered service on August 15, 1887. Its first keepers were Severo del Olmo and César Prieto. It was designed by Manuel Maese and built by the government itself at the top of this island located eight miles from  Ponce, and whose appearance resembles an old coffin. The building measures 81 feet long by 51 feet wide and has an H shape unique among local lighthouses, with the 41-foot tall tower located at the center of the structure. Behind the tower was the fuel storage room, which ventilated through a circular blind.

    The building was painted light blue with white details and black baseboard. The third-order lens, which projected its light eighteen miles away, was substituted in 1945 by a fixed lens which is exhibited in the Coast Guard’s small museum in San Juan. Today the light is produced by a plastic beacon fed by solar panels. The lighthouse was automated and its windows were sealed in 1968 without the structure having been significantly altered. The tower’s balustrade is not original. Although the remote location has protected it from the vandalism suffered by other lighthouses, deterioration due to neglect is evident. The roof, for example, has a large hole through which rainwater enters the building, the high internal humidity has surely contributed to the deterioration of the roof beams and other elements of the structure.

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