Finished in 1839, the Alabama Sand Island Lighthouse has stood as a sentinel on a narrow piece of land that is located approximately three miles from the entrance to Mobile Bay. It was built by Winslow Lewis, and John McCloud became the first lighthouse keeper with a yearly salary of $500.
lighthouse sand island, 2
In 1858 a new brick tower was built, and it became the tallest lighthouse in America. Unfortunately, several years later the Yankees used the tower to spy on Ft. Morgan. When the Confederate soldiers found out what they were doing, they blew the tower to pieces.
In the years that followed, the Alabama Sand Island Lighthouse was destined to be destroyed and rebuilt several times. A home was built for two lighthouse keepers and their wives. Both the lighthouse and the home were totally destroyed in the hurricane of 1906. One of the keepers had left for shore a few days earlier, but the other keeper and the two wives were lost and never found.
The lighthouse ceased its work in 1932, and in 1971 its lens was placed in the Ft. Morgan Museum. The keeper’s house burned to the ground in 1973. Today, the residents of Dauphin Island own the lighthouse, and are working to restore it as a historical landmark.