Middle Bay Light

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Middle Bay Light
Mobile Bay
Middle Bay Lighthouse.jpg
Middle Bay Light in Mobile Bay, near Mobile, Alabama.
Middle Bay Light is located in Alabama
Middle Bay Light
LocationMiddle of Mobile Bay, Mobile Bay, Alabama
Coordinates30°26′17.60″N 88°0′40.48″W / 30.4382222°N 88.0112444°W / 30.4382222; -88.0112444Coordinates: 30°26′17.60″N 88°0′40.48″W / 30.4382222°N 88.0112444°W / 30.4382222; -88.0112444
Year first constructed1885
Foundationscrew piles
Constructionwooden screw-pile lighthouse
Tower shapehexagonal frustum structure with platform, keeper’s quarter and mast with beacon centered on the roof
Markings / patternwhite lighthouse
Tower height41 feet (12 m)
Focal height48 feet (15 m)
Original lensFourth order Fresnel lens, 1885
Current lens155 mm solar-powered lens
Light sourcesolar power
Range4 nautical mile Edit this on Wikidata
CharacteristicFl R 6s., bell struck by machinery every 5 seconds.
Admiralty numberJ3488
ARLHS numberUSA-505
USCG number4-6490
Managing agentAlabama Historical Commission[1]
Heritageplace listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata
Middle Bay Light
Middlebay1940 300.jpg
Middle Bay Light circa 1940.
ArchitectCaptain John Grant
NRHP reference #74000429[2]
Added to NRHPDecember 30, 1974

Middle Bay Light, also known as Middle Bay Lighthouse and Mobile Bay Lighthouse, is an active hexagonal-shaped cottage style screw-pile lighthouse. The structure is located offshore from Mobile, Alabama, in the center of Mobile Bay.


The station was activated in 1885. In 1916 the keeper's wife gave birth to a baby that summer at the station. According to the Alabama Lighthouse Association web site, the keeper brought a dairy cow to the station and corralled it on a section of the lower deck because his wife was unable to nurse the newborn baby. All had to be evacuated when the station survived but was damaged by a hurricane that year. The light was automated in 1935.

The lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 30, 1974.[2] In 1984 the lighthouse was stabilized by Middle Bay Light Centennial Commission in preparation for the centennial celebration. In 1996 the Coast Guard loaned the original Fresnel lens to the Ft. Morgan Museum for public display. In 2002 restoration efforts were begun to repair the lighthouse.

In 2003, a real-time weather station was added to the lighthouse by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. Still running, the weather station, one of seven in Mobile Bay, samples precipitation, total and quantum solar radiation, air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, water temperature, salinity, water depth, and dissolved oxygen. These data can be seen in real-time at www.mymobilebay.com. From late 2011 - mid 2014 currents and waves were also displayed.


The light itself

Whale oil was the first fuel used and the lighthouse tenders worked in shifts making sure that the lamps did not go out and smoke the lens. In later years kerosene was used and eventually they were converted to electricity.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Mobile Bay (Middle Bay) The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 6 June 2016
  2. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  3. ^ "The Fresnel Lens". BrownMarine.com. Retrieved 2007-04-23.

External links