Cape St. George Lighthouse

July 22, 2019

Cape St. George Lighthouse, Franklin County, Florida


Station Established: 1833
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1852
Operational? NO
Automated? YES, 1949
Deactivated: 1994
Foundation Materials: STONE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Height: 65-feet (1833); 72-feet (as of1932)
Characteristics: Fixed White
Foghorn: None
Original Lens: 13 lamps with 15 inch reflectors (1833); Third Order Fresnel  (1852)

Historical Information:

  • Congress appropriated $11,400.00 on 3 March 1831 for a lighthouse "on the west end of St. George's Island, near the entrance of Appalachicola Bay."
  • From the report of Revenue Captain Henry D. Hunter of the cutter Taney, 12 April 1834: "There is one light house in the District, which stands on the west end of St. Georges Island.  It is 75 feet high, shows a steady light and is lighted by eleven lamps.  The keeper, I. W. Smith was absent when I visited the light.  It was left in charge of a hired man.  I did not find it clean."
  • The site was rebuilt in 1847 two miles from the original site on the cape which is the southern-most point of the island.  
  • Destructive winds toppled the tower in 1851.  A new lighthouse was constructed 250-yards inland and it was placed into service in 1852.
  • The light was automated and crew removed in August, 1949.
  • The Coast Guard disestablished the light as an active aid to navigation in 1994.
  • In 1995, Hurricane Opal caused the light tower to tilt about 10-degrees and was left sitting precariously along the water's edge.
  • The Cape St. George Lighthouse Society raised $50,000 from local residents and $160,000 in state grants to fix the tilt of the tower in 2002.
  • The light tower fell into the Gulf of Mexico on 21 October 2005.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society volunteer.