Lower Sugarloaf Key, Florida: Perky's Bat TowerTall pine wood structure is a failed experiment in enviro-bug-control. Mosquito problem, bats imported to solve, bats flew away. Richter Clyde Perky hired a guy to build it in 1929, using plans from Charles Campbell. This one didn't work out, and our landscape of cryptic structures is richer for it.
- Bat Tower Rd, Lower Sugarloaf Key, FL
- Take US-1 South into the Florida Keys. At mile marker 17 take a right hand turn onto Bat Tower Road. (not marked with a sign, just take the first right-hand turn after milepost 17. Or watch for a large sign advertising Sugarloaf Airport. The unnamed road is 4 ft behind it). Veer to the right at the road fork.
- Daylight hours.
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
Visitor Tips and News About Perky's Bat Tower
The Bat Tower appears to be in slightly better shape than in previous years. As of August 2013 the road had been partially paved, but it's still tough to find (at MM 17, an immediate right after the Summerland Lodge sign and/or airport sign). Worth a quick detour to visit a serious early industrial attempt at biological pest control.[Campbell, 09/01/2013]
Right off the main road in the keys, so worth the slight detour.[Janki, 06/02/2012]
Built in 1929 by Richter Clyde Perky, who believed that bats would live in it and then eat the mosquitoes that plagued his fishing resort. The tower has withstood many hurricanes (as have the mosquitoes) but it has been rejected by the bats.
Unfortunately the tower is now a place for visitors to write their names. It's becoming an eye sore with beer cans nailed to it and the wood is coming loose. Still it's history and was worth the short stop.[Miss Molly, 08/21/2008]
The Bat Tower was built to house bats. A guy by the name of "Perky" decided he wanted to open a resort, but the mosquitoes were so bad he realized that nobody would want to stay there. Perky heard that bats eat lots of mosquitoes so he built this tower to attract bats. Perky imported bats which promptly flew away, never to return.[01/01/2001]