"Sand Island Light" Top 5 Page for this destination United States of America Off The Beaten Path Tip by grandmaR
United States of America Off The Beaten Path: 302 reviews and 511 photos
As we were driving toward Mobile, I was looking at the map, and I decided to go down to Fort Gaines first to see if I could see the lighthouse at Sand Key from there. And we could. I wanted to see if I could get a better view from the ferry, but we didn't do that. Located about 2 miles (3 km) southwest of Mobile Point. Accessible only by boat.
It is a 131 foot brick tower like the Bodie Island light in NC. The original lens (see photo) is on display in the Fort Morgan Museum. The keeper's house burned in 1925. The second tower (1859) was destroyed during the Civil War.
Sand Island was built on an establish station in 1873, but has been inactive since 1933. Critically endangered: the island has dwindled to a sandbar and the tower suffers from years of neglect. The lighthouse is a longtime resident of the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List.
After protracted negotiations to see who would take care of the lighthouse in the future, in October 2003, ownership was transferred to the town of Dauphin Island. Then it was damaged in September 2004 by Hurricane Ivan and suffered additional damage by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
Work to stabilize the foundation of the lighthouse was carried out in the summer of 2008 and in late 2010, the Corps of Engineers approved a project to place millions of cubic yards of sand (dredge spoil) around the lighthouse to protect it against erosion; the funds come from the BP oil spill mitigation funding. This project was carried out in the fall of 2011.
The artificial island lasted only a year; it was completely washed away by Hurricane Isaac in September 2012.
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