Cape St. George Light
The Cape St. George Light which stands at the center of St. George Island, is the fourth reconstruction of the historic lighthouse that was originally built on what is now Little St. George Island.
In 1831 Congress appropriated $11,400 for the construction of a lighthouse to guide ships into the thriving port of Apalachicola. The first lighthouse was erected in 1833 near West Pass, but was difficult to see for maritime traffic approaching from the east. After suffering storm damage, it was ultimately dismantled and its bricks were used in the construction of a new tower, completed in 1848 at Cape St. George. The second lighthouse fell during a hurricane in 1851.
The third lighthouse was completed in 1852, again using materials from its predecessor, but positioned this time 500 yards inland from the water’s edge. For 153 years the Cape St. George Light valiantly served mariners well, but beach erosion ultimately resulted in its collapse on October 21, 2005.
In a dramatic team effort involving private contractors, local volunteers, and government funding, the pieces of the Light were salvaged and moved to a storage site on the mainland. The St. George Lighthouse Association acquired the 1852 plans from the National Archives and led the effort to reconstruct the lighthouse on St. George Island.
Volunteers gathered on weekends to carefully clean the old mortar off the salvaged bricks, and more than 22,000 original bricks were used in the rebuilding effort. Original granite door jambs and window lintels were re-installed in the reconstructed lighthouse. The iron lantern room, twisted beyond hope in the fall, was reforged using the original pieces as patterns.
With extensive community support and public and private funding, the Cape St. George Light was successfully rebuilt and opened to the public on December 1, 2008. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.