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.