There were once as many as ten lighthouses shining along the Mississippi coast. But today the ravages of time and tide have taken their toll and only one historic light still stands in Biloxi.
The Ship Island Lighthouse was originally built of bricks, but it had an insufficient foundation, and was replaced by a wooden structure. The original wooden structure was burned down by campers in 1972, and a taller steel framework with a light replaced it. A wooden replica was constructed in 2000, but it was washed away by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
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The Round Island Lighthouse was built of bricks in 1833. It stood through storms and the Civil War, but was finally undermined and toppled by Hurricane Georges in 1998. Just as restoration was getting underway, Hurricane Katrina swept in and toppled the lighthouse yet again. But the Round Island Lighthouse will not stay down. In 2010, the base of the lighthouse was relocated to Pascagoula, and reconstruction is underway again.
The lighthouse in Biloxi was the first cast iron lighthouse in the south, and it has proven its strength over the years. It is made of iron plates bolted together over a brick lining. The lighthouse stands forty five feet tall. During the time of its service it was kept by more female keepers than any other lighthouse in the United States. It is the only Mississippi lighthouse to stand through Hurricane Katrina, and an American flag was flown from the lighthouse shortly after the storm as a symbol of Biloxi’s intent to rebuild.