Horn Island Light

Aug. 27, 2019

Horn Island Light, near Horn Island Pass, Mississippi


Location: Horn Island is one of the barrier islands in the Gulf Islands National Seashore between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Sound. The island is twelve miles long and the east end, location of the former lighthouse, is eight miles from Pascagoula, Mississippi. The channel between Horn Island and Petit Bois Island is the entrance to Pascagoula.

Historic Towers:
Year first lighthouse built: 1874.
* Construction of 1874 lighthouse: lantern on roof of dwelling on screwpile foundation.
* This light was endangered by shoreline erosion and was moved in 1880. This lighthouse was replaced in 1887 and destroyed by a hurricane in 1893.
Year second lighthouse built: 1887.
* Construction of 1887 lighthouse: lantern on roof of story and a half square dwelling with covered porch created by overhanging second floor. Second floor had one dormer window on each side. The lantern room was located on the center of the roof with a square, open walkway outside the round lantern room.
* This lighthouse was also moved 253 feet in 1900.
* This lighthouse was abandoned in 1906.
Year third lighthouse built: 1908. Known as the Petit Bois Island Light.
* Located in 13 feet of water three quarter miles from Petit Bois Island on the east side of the entrance to the Mississippi Sound.
* Lighthouse: wood dwelling with lantern room on center top. Building painted white.
* Foundation: 21 wood pilings cased with iron.
* Lens: Fourth Order Fresnel by Barbier & Fenestre of Paris.
* Lantern: oil vapor lamp.
* Height of focal plane above mean high water: 47 feet.
* Landing for boat under the lighthouse.

Historical Information:

  • The keeper, and his family, of the second lighthouse were killed in a hurricane in 1906.
  • Petit Bois Island light abandoned in 1961 and subsequently destroyed. (Lighthouse shown in photo on U.S. Coast Guard website).

Keepers:  Valentine B. McArthur (1874), Martin Freeman (1874-1894), Charles Johnson (1906).

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