Biloxi Lighthouse
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Sunny Gina
N 30° 23.665 W 088° 54.070
16R E 317349 N 3364024
Quick Description: The Biloxi Lighthouse is the first cast-iron tower in the South.
Location: Mississippi, United States
Date Posted: 8/27/2007 5:56:47 PM
Waymark Code: WM2368
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member THE DAM TROLLS
Views: 57

Long Description:
The following information came from the Biloxi Lighthouse website:

The Biloxi Lighthouse was one of three Mississippi Sound Lighthouses authorized in 1847 by legislation sponsored by Mississippi Representative Jefferson Davis. Metal plates, cast by Murray and Hazlehurst Vulcan Works in Baltimore, were bolted together to form a metal wrapper around a brick liner. The tower was completed in the spring of 1848 and Marcellus J. Howard was assigned as the first keeper. Part of his job was to service the lamps and nine small reflectors that comprised the lighting apparatus. Later, the light would be upgraded to fourteen, 21.5-inch reflectors.

When the Civil War erupted in 1861, a local group of "Home Guards" ordered the light extinguished and seized the keys to the tower. Following the war, the Biloxi Lighthouse was equipped with a fifth-order Fresnel lens.

Although the light is today a good distance from the water's edge, this hasn't always been the case. In the 1850s, the tower stood on the edge of a sand bank, just twenty-nine feet from the shoreline. A concrete seawall was constructed to protect the bank from erosion. During a storm in 1860, part of the wall collapsed, allowing the surging sea to undermine the foundation on one side of the tower. The resulting void caused the tower to lean two feet from vertical. A plain brick tower might have collapsed under such conditions, but Pleasonton's iron sheath, kept the tower intact. After the Civil War, earth was removed from beneath the lighthouse on the side opposite the lean, and the tower gradually returned to its former vertical position. So is that where those modern engineers got the idea for stabilizing the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

Like several other iron towers, the Biloxi Lighthouse received a coat of black coal tar shortly after the Civil War to protect it from rust. This color change led to the persistent myth that the tower was painted black to mourn the death of Abraham Lincoln. The tower was repainted white in 1869 to make it stand out from the dark backdrop of trees near the lighthouse.

The look of the Biloxi Light Station has changed over time. In 1906, the station's cisterns were removed after a link to the municipal waterworks was installed, and Hurricane Camille destroyed the keeper's dwelling in 1969. Now, the stout iron tower, owned by the city of Biloxi, stands alone in the median of Highway 90.
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