Biloxi Lighthouse  

 

 

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Located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, this lighthouse is one of the most promient features in Biloxi.  Below is a brief account of this monument's history as per a plaque in front of the lighthouse.

 

Constructed in sections by the firm of Murray and Hazelhurst of Baltimore, Maryland, the Biloxilighthouse.jpg (12091 bytes) Lighthouse arrived at this location aboard the brig General North and was erected in 1849.  A cast iron sheath lined with locally made brick., the 48-foot tower is one of the few of its type remaining on the Gulf of Mexico.  It was illuminated by a fourth order Fresnel lens visible at a distance of 13 nautical miles.  

The original site of the light was a sand bluff.  Neglect during the war years and the subsequent failure of a retaining wall in 1867 caused the tower to lean two feet off center.  In danger of toppling into the Mississippi Sound, the tower was righted by excavating under the north side.  Also, heavily rusted, the tower was given a coating of black coal tar, thus giving rise to a popular local myth that the community had painted the structure black to mourn the death of Lincoln.  The lighthouse was repainted white to make it stand out against the dark green pine woods.  

During most of its existence as an active station, the Biloxi lighthouse was uniquely tended by females, beginning with Mary Reynolds in 1845, Maria Younhans assumed duties in 1867 and was succeeded by her daughter Miranda in 1920.  The light was electrified in 1926.

 

Directions:

Take Interstate 10 to Biloxi, Mississippi.  At Biloxi go south on the 110 spur.  At the end of the spur go west on Hwy 90 for 1/2 mile.  The lighthouse will be in the median between the eastbound and westbound lanes.

 

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Copy of one of the original architect drawings

 

At the turn of the century, the Biloxi Lighthouse guided boats like this one into safe harbor.