CR 12: Sand Island Lighthouse - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

CR 12: Sand Island Lighthouse

Jim Hall has made this trip dozens of times.  "The lighthouse is about 4 miles from here," said Alabama Lighthouse Association member Hall.   On a wet summer day our boat bounced through the choppy Gulf heading for a real piece of history.    "This is one of the most difficult to get to because you can only do it by boat."

But that wasn't the case 40 years ago when it was built.  This was actually the third lighthouse at this location.  The first was one wasn't tall enough so they knocked it down.  The second one was taken over by soldiers from the North in the Civil War so Confederate soldiers blew it up.   This one was started in 1871, and was done by 1872, it's still standing.   "When it was built it was over 400 acres, there were 26 buildings out here."   But slowly over the years the currents pushed the sand away leaving the lighthouse standing alone. 

This 130 foot tower has seen some battles.   "Hurricane after hurricane has come through here."  One hurricane in the early 1900s killed the lighthouse keeper and his wife.   "You can imagine when Katrina came through with waves 20-30 feet high."

The base of the Sand Island lighthouse is 11 feet thick, fortified with bricks from Baldwin County.  And before GPS and computer navigation, this was a real lifesaver.   "You can imagine during the sailing ship days coming in with nothing but a compass and the wind, and you finally see the lighthouse and say, Hey we did it!"

Somebody had to there at all times.   "This lighthouse and others had lighthouse keepers, they literally lived at the lighthouse.  You can only imagine the solitude and isolation."  

The Sand Island lighthouse was deactivated in the 1930's, in the 70s the keepers home was destroyed by fire.   The Army Corps of Engineers has repeatedly tried to surround the lighthouse with sand, but the currents are too strong, and it washes away.   After doing a study, the Alabama Lighthouse Association found it would cost about $30 million to make the lighthouse a public area where people could walk around and climb up the tower.  There's no money for that.  So far now it sits, a tower of history, alone in the waters off Dauphin Island.  

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Survivor recounts boat accident that killed 9 family members

    Survivor recounts boat accident that killed 9 family members

    Saturday, July 21 2018 12:18 AM EDT2018-07-21 04:18:54 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 2:06 PM EDT2018-07-22 18:06:38 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More >>

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More >>
  • Gunman in LA supermarket standoff arrested for murder

    Gunman in LA supermarket standoff arrested for murder

    Sunday, July 22 2018 8:49 AM EDT2018-07-22 12:49:27 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 2:06 PM EDT2018-07-22 18:06:10 GMT
    (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes). Los Angeles Police SWAT officers escort a group of people who were held for their safety by police across businesses surrounding a Trader Joe's supermarket, after a gunman held dozens of people hostage inside the store bef...(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes). Los Angeles Police SWAT officers escort a group of people who were held for their safety by police across businesses surrounding a Trader Joe's supermarket, after a gunman held dozens of people hostage inside the store bef...

    Police say they're trying to determine what prompted a man to shoot his grandmother and then run into a busy Los Angeles supermarket and hold dozens of people hostage for hours.

    More >>

    Police say they're trying to determine what prompted a man to shoot his grandmother and then run into a busy Los Angeles supermarket and hold dozens of people hostage for hours.

    More >>
  • Inspector warned duck boat company of design flaws last year

    Inspector warned duck boat company of design flaws last year

    Saturday, July 21 2018 6:13 PM EDT2018-07-21 22:13:06 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 2:04 PM EDT2018-07-22 18:04:59 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People view a row of idled duck boats in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks Saturday, July 21, 2018 in Branson, Mo. One of the company's duck boats capsized Thursday night resulting in several deaths on Table Rock Lake.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People view a row of idled duck boats in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks Saturday, July 21, 2018 in Branson, Mo. One of the company's duck boats capsized Thursday night resulting in several deaths on Table Rock Lake.

    Since 1999, duck boats have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people, with a troubled safety record on the road and water alike.

    More >>

    Since 1999, duck boats have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people, with a troubled safety record on the road and water alike.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly