Sand Island Light (Alabama)

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For the lighthouse in Lake Superior, see Sand Island Light (Wisconsin).
Sand Island Lighthouse
Sandislandal1962 300.jpg
Sand Island lighthouse - 1962
Sand Island Light (Alabama) is located in Alabama
Sand Island Light (Alabama)
Location Sand Island, Mobile County, Alabama, USA
Coordinates 30°11′16″N 88°03′02″W / 30.18778°N 88.05056°W / 30.18778; -88.05056Coordinates: 30°11′16″N 88°03′02″W / 30.18778°N 88.05056°W / 30.18778; -88.05056
Year first constructed 1838
Year first lit 1873
Automated 1921
Deactivated 1933
Foundation Stone
Construction Brownstone
Tower shape Conical frustum
Height Tower — 131 feet (40 m)
Original lens 1838: 14 lamps with 16-inch reflectors; 1859: First order Fresnel lens; 1862-63: Fourth order Fresnel lens; 1873: Second order Fresnel lens, now at the Fort Morgan Museum.
Intensity candlepower
Range 0 miles (0 km)
Characteristic Fixed white; Fog Signal: Bell struck by machinery every 20 seconds
Fog signal Fog bell
ARLHS number USA-723.[1][2]
USCG number
Sand Island Light
Nearest city Fort Morgan, Alabama
Area less than one acre
Architectural style Italianate
Governing body Federal
NRHP Reference # 75000305[3]
Added to NRHP November 12, 1975

Sand Island Lighthouse is a lighthouse located at the southernmost point of the state of Alabama, United States, near Dauphin Island, at the mouth of Mobile Bay, Alabama. It is located roughly three miles offshore from the primary Mobile Bay entrance, bounded on the east by Mobile Point and on the west by Dauphin Island.[4] The lighthouse is 132 feet (40 m) high.


An earlier lighthouse on Sand Island was destroyed during the Civil War, on February 23, 1863 by Confederate John W. Glenn.[4]

Sand Island itself faced continuous erosion, to the point where granite blocks were being added to the island to try and stave off the erosion and loss of the lighthouse.[4] Restoration efforts resulted primarily in stabilization of the island through 2008.[4] Sand Island Lighthouse's dire situation is similar to "its sister light", the Morris Island Lighthouse, near Charleston, South Carolina. Both lighthouses were situated on sandy islands that have eroded, leaving the towers surrounded by water.[4]

It is on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List as one of the most endangered lighthouses in the country.[5] The Sand Island Lighthouse (and Mobile Bay light) were damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Repairing that damage will further delay restoration efforts.[5]

The image of this lighthouse was used as a stamp cancellation.[6]

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