Keri lighthouse ca 1927. Jaan Vali’s collections.
Keri lighthouse ca 1930. Aivo Aia’s collections.
In 1718 Tsar Peter the Great ordered 30–50 feet high stone pillars to be built on the islands of Keri (Kokskär) and Vaindloo (Stenskär). The construction of the stone body of Keri lighthouse started in 1800. The octagonal lantern room of the lighthouse accommodated the first catoptric apparatus with copper reflectors and oil lamps in Russia. After destruction during the Crimean War, a new tower made of boilerplate was mounted on top of the existing stone tower. The dioptric light apparatus devised by Fresnel together with a lantern room were ordered from Paris and Keri was again the first one in Russia to introduce a new type of a lighting system.
The modern lighthouse went into operation in 1858. From 1907 Keri was the only lighthouse in the world to be lit with natural gas, which was derived from a depth of 115 metres. Unfortunately the gas flow stopped as a result of subterranean tremors in 1912. Keri lighthouse is a listed architectural monument but is unfortunately currently decrepit and in serious need of conservation and repair works.
Keri lighthouse on the 1798 map by Mellin.
Keri lighthouse on the 1814 navigation map.
Keri lighthouse ca 1900. Estonian Maritime Museum’s collections.
Keri island and lighthouse ca 1930. Estonian State Archive.
Repair works on Keri lighthouse 1930. Estonian Maritime Museum’s collections.
Keri lighthouse staircase. Photo by Jaan Vali, 2005.