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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cockspur Lighthouse, GA


We saw two lighthouses during our Anniversary Vacation near Savannah, GA in June of 2008. One was the lighthouse on Tybee Island --and this one was the Cockspur Lighthouse (located between Savannah and Tybee Island). We could only see it from a distance, once while walking outside of Fort Pulaski, and then again from the road after leaving Tybee Island. Here's a little history about this lighthouse:

It was first built in 1849, but that was short-lived since it was rebuilt in 1857. The second Cockspur Lighthouse was built of brick and consisted of a 46 foot tower. The first keeper was appropriately named John Lightburn. He lived on Cockspur Island near Fort Pulaski and would make daily trips to the tower to service the light.

The second keeper, Cornelius Maher, drowned near the tower when his boat capsized while he was trying to help someone in distress. Maher's wife, Mary, replaced her husband as keeper and remained at the light for three more years.

Surprisingly, the Cockspur Lighthouse, which stood in the direct line of fire between Tybee Island and Fort Pulaski, suffered no damage during the war when the Union forces captured the Confederates at Fort Pulaski in 1862.

The lighthouse resumed operation in 1866, after the end of the war. The keeper's dwelling was struck by lightning in 1880, and was later destroyed by a hurricane. A new home for the keeper was eventually built on top of the walls of Fort Pulaski, which at the time was abandoned.

George Washington Martus was one of the keepers who served after the war, accepting an assignment to the station in 1881 at the age of 18. Martus served until 1886 when he was transferred upstream to the Elba Island Lighthouse. Martus' sister Florence lived with him on Elba Island, and for over 40 years, she greeted all the vessels entering and leaving the port of Savannah with the wave of a handkerchief by day and a lantern by night. She became somewhat of a legend and was known as the "Waving Girl." We passed by the statue of the "Waving Girl" while in Savannah--but neither of us got a picture of her.

In 1909, the deep draft ships calling at Savannah started to use the north channel, and the Cockspur Lighthouse was deactivated. The Coast Guard abandoned the light house in 1949, but fortunately the Park Service assumed control of the light in 1958. The tower was repaired in a two-stage restoration effort which lasted from 1995-2000. A new lantern room was put in place atop the tower, brickwork was repaired and the light house received two coats of whitewash during the project. The Cockspur Lighthouse, which was re-lit in 2007, using a solar-powered beacon, is now part of Fort Pulaski National Monument.

There are five pictures to see. Above is Cockspur Lighthouse. Below are four more. All of this 'history-stuff' is INTERESTING!!!!




This picture was taken by me ---when we were on the road, after visiting Tybee Island. You can see the Cockspur Lighthouse from here also (almost in the middle of your picture).



This picture was taken by us when we were at Fort Pulaski---looking toward the Tybee Lighthouse. We wanted to take a longer hike to get a better picture, but the Georgia BUGS were out--and we didn't have any bug spray with us.





This picture was taken (not by us) near the Cockspur Lighthouse--looking back toward Fort Pulaski (where we had been).



This is a picture of the "Waving Girl" statue in Savannah, GA. As I mentioned, George and I passed by this statue when we were on our 'whirlwind' tour of Savannah, but neither of us could get a picture from our trolley. (I took the picture above from the internet.)

As much as I love waterfalls, I also love lighthouses AND covered-bridges. We've seen over 350 different waterfalls. Think we'll ever see that many lighthouses or covered-bridges?????

Have a wonderful Sunday.
Hugs

42 comments:

Kirigalpoththa said...

very interesting history facts!

diane said...

Amazing how much history is behind a lighthouse. I like how you have challenges when you travel to find waterfalls, lighthouses and covered bridges. I should find one...mmmm. Did you see the funny lighthouse that I photographed in Broome. (Part2)?

Bonnie Bonsai said...

I fall for the story of Cornelius Maher. The way he lost his life reminds me of a love story I read about a Lighthouse Keeper. And the Waving Girl sounds sweet for her ordinary service that made a difference to those water travellers that needed upliftments. Very lovely pictures and the history of the theme. Sorry for not coming too often. I am going away to New Zealand in three days time, so I'll be missing my blogs (too many to keep) and visiting blogs to leave comments. Take care dear lovely lady.

♥Kathy♥ said...

It would be neat to see different lighthouse. LOL all you would have to do is follow the coast line around the country. =)

Pam said...

Growing up close to the ocean has given me a real soft spot for lighthouses and these are wonderful, Betsy.
Thanks for the journey and history, I enjoyed both...

Kind regards, Pam :)

Deb Murphree/Alabama Politics said...

Heavens to Betsy!! you and I have so much in common, girl. I LOVE lighthouses as well as waterfalls, etc. I took after your family posts, and made one on reunions. I also am making one on some pictures I just dug up of Big Stone Gap. I'll have that post ready in about half an hour. Have to scan pics and then post. Love you!

Ocean Girl said...

Beacon in the night;
A guide, a friend, dependable light.
Raging Nature can never douse
The welcoming beam of a lighthouse
~Adam Smith

Arkansas Patti said...

Gee, you don't suppose the Waving Girl was trying to get attention to be rescued and all she got was a return wave? Sorry my mind works that way.
Very interesting history. I love the stories behind a site.
I do love covered bridges also. In the middle of one, I feel trust back in time.
Thanks for the trip.

amelia said...

I think the waving girl was fighting off bugs!!
Love the lighthouses, we saw quite a few on our Alaskan trip but I don't think many of them had been manned. Mostly automated.
As usual, lovely pictures and very interesting history.

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Always love the lighthouses...and they nearly always have interesting stories...

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

Your post brings me back memories of the time or year we visited Savannah. I remember the downtown area and the beautiful homes there.

Karin said...

Oh Betsy, I love lighthouses, and waterfalls, and covered bridges and waving at passing trains. Some things tug at my heart strings! I've decorated hubby's bathroom - yes, we have two in our little apartment - in the lighthouse/seaside theme. Oh nothing elaborate, but tiny lighthouse figurines I've collected of places we've been. My daughter made a collage of some of our own photos beside lighthouses we've visited on the CT and MA coast. It's fun! Thanks for sharing your memories!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Lighthouse have a charm all it's own.Each one a little different,yet beautiful and at one time so useful.Thanks for sharing this lighthouse and it;s history.
Have wonderful Sunday.
Blessings,Ruth

Marge said...

Beautiful pics! I love lighthouses too! Have you been to Hannibal, MO? There's a little wooden one there that overlooks the Mississippi river. You've made me want to hunt thru some of my old pictures!

Jo said...

Lovely post Betsy. I love photos of bridges and other structures. However, I've posted about how it is not actually allowed while I'm in Khartoum. There are quite a few bridges across the Nile and I have managed to sneak a few photos. We'll see what happens when we return there next week.

Salitype said...

thank you, betsy for another informative post...i find lighthouses very fascinating. i fall in-love with the little girl already...there, waving her handkerchief to greet all vessels entering Savannah...

Small City Scenes said...

Great info on the lighthouse and it's keepers. Neat sculpture too.
I like lighthouses also and there are many along the Washington coast and oregon too. I have many pics of them. MB

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love lighthouses as well.
I like this waving girl...was she waving at anyone in particular?

Snap said...

I love lighthouses. There is just something so romantic about them.

Sunny said...

Hi Betsy,
The story behind the Waving Girl Statue is fascinating. I Googled it to get more information. It's quite a story, that I wouldn't have known about if not for your blog...thanks!
I love lighthouses too. Having lived on Cape Cod for nearly 30 years, I saw quite a few. I miss them up here in the boonies. They'd be a bit out of place in the cow pasture!Ha-ha!
Have a lovely Sunday.
Sunny :)

Tina said...

Oh oh a new passion..light houses and covered bridges?? All are pretty cool and fun to find! That was an interesting story (history) about that light house..and the waving girl..loved your readers guesses!! ha ha.
Pa has a lot of covered bridges and Bucks County ( where I live) is known for their covered bridges!!
Hope you are having a good weekend!

Cicero Sings said...

D loves light houses too. He was stationed on one for 2 years and loved it. He wasn't the station keeper but there to do weather observations.

mountain.mama said...

I don't think you'll catch up to the number of waterfalls with covered bridges and lighthouses, but you can keep trying! Isn't it funny how history becomes more interesting the older we get? Maybe because we are more historical ourselves!

Sunny said...

I love covered bridges and lighthouses too! In fact I'm currently working on my second canvas that has a lighthouse in it. :)

Thankyou for sharing your great pictures and bios...very interesting for sure! Hugs

Kay said...

I love lighthouses so I really enjoyed this post.

Kay

Diane said...

Beautiful lighthouse pictures. I think I've only seen one in my life (?) That was at West Port, Washington.

Diane AZ said...

Gorgeous lighthouse with interesting history. I'm fond of lighthouses and covered bridges too, even if I mostly see them in pictures. That waving girl statue is an amazing piece of artwork.

Shelley said...

Betsy - like you I LOVE lighthouses! I enjoyed these photos and learning about the history. I have a book on the women lighthouse keepers throughout history (I think 99% had that position because of the death of their spouse.) I have to go find that book. If you want to read it - let me know and I'll lend it to you!

P.S. I am studying very hard - you would be proud! :-)
Hugs!
Shelley

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I'm very fond of lighthouses too. But 375? I think it might take you a long while to see that many!

Naturegirl said...

Betsy the first image is super and the historical facts interesting!
Thank you for sharing and for your regular encourgemant sent my way!
hugs aNNa xo

Kelly said...

...your first lighthouse photo is gorgeous. I love the weathered look. (I love Savannah and Hilton Head....I haven't been out to Tybee. I'm going to have to add this lighthouse to a place to visit next summer when we're at Hilton Head.)

I remember seeing the stockades at Williamsburg -- Matty and Maria tried it out, but I wouldn't...too much of a chicken! Interesting info on the guillotine. "A Tale of Two Cities" is one of my favorite books, and the guillotine played a major role in it. Everything I know about the g. came from it.

Cookie said...

My father loves lighthouses. He has a collection of light house stuff in his office. Great pics. I've never been to Georgia. You are lukcy to have been to so many fascinating places :)

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

You are such a good guide on these trips. I feel as though I am there...m.

SquirrelQueen said...

All of the photos are great. Savannah is one of my favorite Georgia cities. I had friends there and drove over to visit as often as possible before moving to Alaska.

I remember this lighthouse but at that time it had not been restored. The Waving Girl statue brought back memories of walks in that area of town. Your talk of the bugs also brought back memories, biggest mosquitoes I have ever seen and that includes the Alaskan bush. Mean suckers too! LOL

I hope you had a chance to walk the along the riverfront and tour some of the houses.

Hugs,
Judy

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Betsy: Really neat captures of the lighthouse from a fun looking trip.

Mary said...

I love lighthouses and this is a beauty! That statue is unique!

Janie said...

If you ever run short on waterfalls, you'll have to start counting lighthouses and covered bridges. Those should last a while.
This old lighthouse is beautiful, and the history is fascinating, too.

Becky said...

We LOVE TYBEE!!!
I can't wait to go back next spring.

Cheryl said...

I like lighthouses as well! These two shown are very neat. And I really liked the statue of the woman waving, very interesting story behind it. Thanks for sharing!

Leedra said...

I love the 1st lighthouse photo.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

That first shot is post-card perfect, Betsy. We've got a few lighthouses up on Lake Erie. Come on up!

Barbara said...

Wonderful photos Betsy, we have been to almost all those places, great old historic areas, hugs