Saint Simons Island Lighthouse Museum
Saint Simons Island, GA - Saint Simons Island Lighthouse Museum - The original St. Simons Island lighthouse, which was built in 1810, was a 75-foot-tall (23 m) early federal octagonal lighthouse topped by a 10-foot (3.0 m) oil-burning lamp. During the American Civil War, U.S. military forces employed a Naval blockade of the coast. An invasion by Union troops in 1862 forced Confederate soldiers to abandon the area. The retreating troops destroyed the lighthouse to prevent it from being an aid to the navigation of Union warships.
The U.S. government constructed a new lighthouse to replace the original, building it to the west of the original's location. It is a 104-foot (32 m) brick structure completed in 1872 and was outfitted with a third-order, biconvex Fresnel lens. The lens is one of 70 such lenses that remain operational in the United States. Sixteen of those are in use on the Great Lakes, of which eight are in Michigan. The rotating lens projects four beams of light, with one strong flash every 60 seconds. A cast iron spiral stairway with 129 steps leads to the galley (or watch/service room). In 1876, the lighthouse was overhauled.
May 26, 2004, ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the Coastal Georgia Historical Society under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act.
The light mechanism is maintained by the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, led by Jeff Cole since 1993. [Wiki]
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