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Cockspur Island Lighthouse

July 23, 2019
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Cockspur Island Lighthouse, Savannah River, Chatham County, Georgia

COCKSPUR ISLAND LIGHT

Location: OFF THE EASTERLY END OF COCKSPUR ISLAND, AND ON THE NORTHERLY SIDE OF THE CHANNEL PASSING TO THE SOUTHWARD OF THE ISLAND, SAVANNAH RIVER
Station Established: 1772 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1857 
Operational: No 
Automated? No 
Deactivated: 1909 
Foundation Materials: Oyster Shell 
Construction Materials: Brick 
Tower Shape / Markings / Pattern: White conical tower
Height: 22' 
Relationship to Other Structure: Separate
Original Lens: Fourth Order, Fresnel, 1857
Characteristic: Fixed white
Fog Signal:

Historical Information:

  • Also known as the South Channel Light or Little Tybee Light.
  • Between 1837 and 1839 a brick tower was built for use as a daymark.
  • 1848 - 1st illuminated tower built.
  • 1853 - Keeper Cornelius Mather capsized his boat and drowned.
  • 1857 - Lighthouse rebuilt.
  • 1862 - Fort Pulaski attacked by Union troops.
  • 1866 - Light relit after the end of the Civil War.
  • 1880 – Keeper’s house struck by lightning.
  • 1881 - Hurricane blew away the rest of the Keeper’s house.
  • 1891 - New Keeper’s house built on top of Fort Pulaski.
  • 1909 - Light deactivated.
  • 1958 - National Park Service took over the lighthouse.
  • 1960, 1978, 1996 - Tower restored by National Park Service.

Keepers:

  • John Lightburn (1849)
  • Cornelius Maher (1851-1853)
  • Mary Maher (1853-1856)
  • Thomas Quinfiven (1856 for 4 months)
  • Patrick Egan (c. 1871)
  • Charles Poland (unknown)
  • George Washington Martus (1881 - 1886)
  • Jeremiah Keane (c. 1893)
  • Charles Sisson (Asst. Keeper c. 1893) 

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.