02 October 2008

This little light of mine

Ok, on the eastern end of Cockspur Island, where Fort Pulaski is, stands the Cockspur Island Lighthouse. When I was here before, there was no good way to view the light. Now there is a short trail that leads out to where it stands. The first light here was built in 1837, and was unlit. In 1848 John Norris, a New York architect who designed several Savannah buildings including the Custom House and the Hug-Mercer house, was contracted to build a light station. This first lighthouse was commisioned in 1849 and destroyed by a hurricane in 1854.
The new tower was built in 1856 on the same foundation using local gray brick. The light was exstinguished during the Civil War to hinder the Union blockade. Despite being in the direct line of fire between Tybee Island and Fort Pulaski, the lighthouse suffered very little damage. The light was re-lit following the war and painted white to make it more visible during the day. Another hurricane in 1893 destroyed the keeper's house, forcing them to build a new house atop the nearby fort. The light was finally extinguished June 1, 1909 because the northern channel of the river became the preferred shipping route, while the light was on the southern channel.
Today, the lighthouse is maintained by the National Park Service as part of the Fort Pulaski National Monument. The Park Service took it over on August 14, 1958 and in 1972 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is also now open to anyone with a boat. The National Park Service is also accepting donations to help preserve the lighthouse, which continually needs to be repaired and repainted. The wooden foundation is also currently threatened by shipworm infestation and will cost nearly $1,000,000 to repair. Donations for this small but beautiful light can be sent to:
Eastern National
In care of Fort Pulaski NM
PO Box 30757
Savannah, GA 31410

Looking back at Fort Pulaski in the distance
One of the local crabs that constantly scurry across the path by the water
A flower. Don't know what it is, but it was pretty.

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