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     In the early morning we pulled away from the Meridian Docks near Darien, Georgia, on our way to revisit the
Sapelo Island Lighthouse. Sapelo Island is on the Georgia Coast, the part called the "Golden Isles".
The island, in earlier days, was the site of a big plantation.
     We had been there almost two years earlier to photograph the lighthouse before the scheduled renovation.
Now we were back to shoot the lighthouse after the restoration.
          After a ferry ride of approximately 6 miles, and 30 minutes in time, we arrived at the Marsh Landing Dock
 on Sapelo. From Marsh Landing Dock, it is around 4 miles to the lighthouse.
We were able to ride in a truck with our guide.
The island is lush and green, with old buildings from earlier days and even older ruins.

     There has been a lighthouse there since 1820. The masonry lighthouse that was built in that year still stands.
 This lighthouse was deactivated and the light dismantled in 1862 by Confederate forces.
 After the Civil War the lighthouse station was re-established and relit in 1868.

     In 1898 the Sapelo Island light station was badly damaged by a hurricane.
 Before that the sea was encroaching on the lighthouse and this continued on into the early 1900s
when the Lighthouse Board decided that a new lighthouse with two keepers houses
 should be built farther back from the beach.

     In 1905, the red and white masonry tower was abandoned and replaced by a metal tower
 which served until 1933. At this time the Lighthouse Board decided that a lighthouse on Sapelo Island
 was no longer needed. Not long afterward the metal tower lighthouse was dismantled,
moved to Southport, N.C. where it saw service, then moved to South Fox Island, Michigan,
where it served for many years.
Now it stands abandoned, a companion to an earlier lighthouse on South Fox Island, also abandoned.

At Sapelo Island, the newly renovated masonry lighthouse stands bright and shiny in the morning light.
Our guide turned us loose to photograph it, climb it, and also photograph the renovated Sapelo Range Light.
This little lighthouse was built in 1877. It was part of a trio of ranges,
two of which were on Wolf Island and no longer exist.

       We photographed the stairs of the restored masonry lighthouse, the new lens that took the place
of the lens that was removed long ago and a view from every side of the newly painted
 lighthouse, renovated oilhouse and cistern. The range light is a charming little building.
We were delighted that it had been renovated along with the larger lighthouse.
 It has some great ornate details, rosettes in the center of the metal work, and fancy iron work in the corners.
It was built in a time when beauty was important even on little utilitarian structures
that would not be viewed by many people.

     We also walked a short way and viewed the footings where the metal tower lighthouse once stood
and saw the oilhouse that still exists on that site and has also been beautifully restored.

All in all, it was a delightful morning and we were glad to be able to record a bit of history and thankful that dedicated people are still interested in saving and restoring a part of our country’s history.

     Public tours of Sapelo Island, Georgia lighthouse are offered on Saturdays (year round) and Fridays/Saturdays (June 1-Labor Day). Reservations for public tours should be made through the Visitor Center (912)437-3224. Group tours are offered for schools, Elderhostels, and special interest groups on Tuesdays/Thursdays (year round) and Tuesdays/Thursdays/Fridays (Labor Day- June 1). Lighthouse tours are normally a part of a group trip to the island unless the lighthouse road proves impassable. Reservations for group tours should be made through the Education office (912)485-2300. Cost is $10 for adults and $6 for children/students.

Historical information comes from a book,
  "Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater",
  written by Buddy Sullivan, 
Manager of the Sapelo Island 
National Estuarine Research Reserve.