One of the more iconic attractions on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, the Sand Island Lighthouse will illuminate the history of the area in a picture-worthy way you won’t forget. The historic lighthouse stands roughly three miles from the mouth of Mobile Bay and has since its first keeper in 1839. Through a series of events like erosion and war, the structure has been rebuilt a few times. The rich history the lighthouse represents tells a story you’re going to love to learn. Here’s what you should know about the Sand Island Lighthouse.
Are you looking for the most incredible experiences on Alabama’s Gulf Coast? The Sand Island Lighthouse is definitely one of them! For the rest, though, be sure to download our free Vacation Guide! Here at Sunset Properties, we’re the experts on the area. So, have an unforgettable vacation using our guide. You’re going to love it!
Sand Island Lighthouse History
If you’ve been to Ft. Morgan, then you’ve seen the Sand Island Lighthouse. It sits about three miles offshore to the west between Ft. Morgan and Dauphin Island. Currently, the lighthouse is owned and protected by the city of Dauphin Island. However, once upon a time this was a federally owned lighthouse with all of the bells and whistles. The Sand Island Lighthouse was originally commissioned in 1837 and was completed in 1839. Because of varying factors, from inadequacy to erosion to the Civil War, the lighthouse has seen a handful of manifestations over the years.
Not long after the first lighthouse was completed, the extreme erosion of Sand Island severely affected its longevity. The island lost between 50 and 100 feet of beach a year. The once-grand, two-story keeper’s quarters decreased over the years because of the extreme erosion. In addition to the island disappearing, itself, several keepers went missing in storms throughout the years. The current lighthouse was originally lit in 1873, but the final keepers went missing as they tried to head to the main land to pick up their replacement. It is believed that a storm caused their boat to capsize with no one aware of their calamity. After these keepers disappeared, the lighthouse was automated and a little over a decade later the light house was decommissioned. In 1971, the Fort Morgan Museum archived the second-order Fresnel lens as a part of the area’s history.
Modern Efforts to Maintain the Lighthouse
Recently, the City of Dauphin Island began a massive rescue operation to save the deteriorating island on which the lighthouse sits. The rip rap, a series of boulders that act as a breakwater, was moved and rearranged to make everything more stable. The Island was then wrapped with stainless steel cables to help keep things in place. Work was also done on the lighthouse, itself, replacing missing bricks and mortar. Also, 1.4 million cubic yards of sand dredge were added to the island. So, our beautiful light house is sitting on white sand again!
You can visit the lighthouse via marina cruises from the Dauphin Island Marina, on which you’ll see some of the many great things Dauphin Island has to offer, too!
So Much to See on Alabama’s Gulf Coast
You’re going to love a vacation here on Alabama’s Gulf Coast! From historic lighthouses to sugar-white sandy beaches, the whole family is going to love spending time here. So, as you plan your next trip to the Gulf, browse our beautiful vacation rentals and beach houses for the best places to stay! Here at Sunset Properties, our rentals are both idyllic and ideal for your next beach adventure! Contact us today to book your next stay. And, if you need more ideas for great things to do in the area, check out our free Vacation Guide, as well!