Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cape St. George Lighthouse - St. George Island, Florida

It is very rare for a lost Civil War landmark to return, but that is exactly what has happened in the case of the historic Cape St. George Lighthouse.

Built in 1852 to replace two previous lighthouses that were destroyed by storms, the Cape St. George Light guided ships into the port of Apalachicola and along Florida's Gulf Coast. It is a little known fact that for a time Apalachicola was the third busiest port on the entire Gulf Coast. The cotton crop from the vast Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint River drainage area of Florida, Alabama and Georgia came downriver to the city for transport to the textile mills of Europe and New England.

When Florida left the Union in 1861, Southern troops moved quickly to remove darken the lantern and remove the lens from the lighthouse to prevent the Union navy from using the beacon in any effort to attack Apalachicola or force entry into the mouth of the Apalachicola River. The equipment was sent upriver to Eufaula, Alabama.

When Confederate troops evacuated Apalachicola in the spring of 1862, the Federal navy moved in, using the lighthouse from time to time as a lookout post.

The story of the Cape St. George Lighthouse had many ups and downs over the years and many thought it ended in a huge loss when it collapsed in October of 2005. Local preservationists, however, would not be defeated and in just three years the lighthouse rose again.

You can visit it today and the view from the top is absolutely stunning. To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/stgeorgelight.

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