The Cockspur Lighthouse
The lighthouse that stands on Cockspur Island was built in 1855 on an oyster bed foundation. This 46 foot tower has an eastern side that is shaped like the prow of a ship to help it withstand the battering it takes from the waters that surround it. During the Civil War when the Confederate forces fell to the Union the Cockspur Lighthouse stood directly in the line of fire in the 30 hours of battle. Amazingly, the lighthouse suffered no damage.
The lighthouse resumed operating in 1866 until 1949 when the Coast Guard abandoned it. The Park Service assumed control of the lighthouse in 1958 by Presidential Proclamation. The tower was repaired in a two-stage restoration effort that lasted from 1995-2000. The Cockspur Lighthouse was relit in 2007 using a solar powered beacon.
The Cockspur Lighthouse is now a part of the Fort Pulaski National Monument. Shipworms wave action and tidal erosion have combined to threaten this Historic Monument s stability. The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation put the Cockspur Lighthouse on the 2008 list of ten Places in Peril.
The National Park Service is dedicated to the preservation of this historic marker. The lighthouse remains open to the public, though access is limited by the terrain of Cockspur Island. However, an overlook trail offers visitors the best chance to get a closer look at the lighthouse today.