2 East Gulf Beach Drive
St. George Island, FL 32328
The Cape St. George Lighthouse first stood at the southern-most tip of “Little” St. George Island in the Gulf of Mexico. The island is 8 miles offshore of Apalachicola in the Florida Panhandle. Built in 1852, this 153-year-old veteran of hurricanes, wars, and erosion finally collapsed on October 21, 2005, and was rebuilt in a new location in 2008.
The first lighthouse on Cape St. George was built in 1833 on the western edge of the island, at the Gulf’s channel toward the port of Apalachicola. When the 65-foot tall light was destroyed by storms in 1846, it was decided to rebuild the lighthouse at the island’s southern tip. The second light, completed in 1848, was about 75 feet tall and made using materials from the 1833 lighthouse. It lasted three years, until it was flattened by a hurricane in August of 1851, which also destroyed the Cape San Blas and Dog Island lighthouses.
The third and final light was completed in 1852; it stood 500 yards inland from the previous light, and pine pilings driven deep into the sand were used as a foundation. It was “built to last.”
Its light was turned off during the Civil War so not to aid Yankee ships and it was not until August 1, 1865 that lighthouse keeper James Reilly relit the beacon. The lens suffered some damage during the war, but was replaced in 1888.
In 1949, the Coast Guard installed an automated light, and by the 1950s lighthouse keepers were no longer needed, although the keeper’s house and oilhouse remained on the island. Beginning in 1992, storms and natural erosion had once again placed the lighthouse in peril.
Following the collapse in 2005, the reconstructed lighthouse was relocated to the center of St. George Island and opened to the public December 1, 2008.
The Lighthouse, the Lighthouse Museum, and the Keeper's House Gift Shop maintain seasonal hours. Please refer to the website for more information: http://www.stgeorgelight.org/