The original brick dwelling was completed in July 1825: a two story cottage with two rooms on each floor. The lower floor was dirt and the upper floor had only one small window on each end. The kitchen was attched to the back. The first lighthouse keeper, John Dubose, wrote of constantly making improvements with his sons' help.
In the 1830s, the government added four dormer windows. In 1835, a major hurricane damaged the cottage. In 1836, the cottage was burned to the ground in the Seminole attack. Reason Duke supervised the rebuilding of the cottage, completed in 1846. Six families of lighthouse keepers occupied the cottage in turn until 1878, when it was abandoned.
By the 1920s, shoreline erosion had washed the cottage away. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Area opened January 1, 1967. A replica of the keeper's quarters from the time when the men of the Frow and Pent families served as keepers was built by the State of Florida in 1969. This is the cottage which you see today.